DroneUp, a leading provider of autonomous drones, and Wonder Robotics, an Israeli startup for autonomous drone solutions and eVTOLs, have completed a successful initial operational evaluation of DroneUp’s drone platform to achieve higher levels of autonomy. and security. Wonder Robotics’ autonomy technology will allow DroneUp to continue to grow operations while maintaining a commitment to safety.
For evaluation, Wonder Robotics’ proprietary “WonderLand” solution was installed on DroneUp drones, enabling smart precision autonomous landing, precise winch delivery and an advanced contingency plan. In addition to improving accuracy, WonderLand’s technology will allow a single flight engineer to safely and autonomously oversee the delivery of multiple drones simultaneously, a key aspect for scaling DroneUp’s operations.
“Our technology is BVLOS or beyond visual line of sight enabling operation for scalable drone services, allowing a service provider or mission manager to safely operate multiple drones per location,” said Idan Shimon, co-founder and CEO of Wonder Robotics. “Wonder Robotics’ goal is to provide reliable technology that will make drone services safe and cost-effective and help future regulatory rules for scalable, safe drone delivery.”
Shimon said medical logistics and other B2B drone deliveries are among the first use cases moving forward. “This is because healthcare systems continue to face increasing challenges to routinely transport samples, prescriptions and equipment as a result of workforce disruptions, resource availability and supply chain bottlenecks,” Shimon said.
Following the introduction of drone delivery into the medical domain, Wonder Robotics believes the next rapidly growing use case will be the shipment of items to and from offshore facilities or ships. “Bringing supplies (including medical items) and even cash to and from such ships that sometimes spend months sailing or anchoring just offshore, especially near major ports, as well as shipping to offshore facilities, is an incredible use case that is starting to grow, especially in the Far East, but also in the USA,” said Šimon.
“Shore-to-ship-to-shore deliveries mandate various autonomous capabilities, including the ability to accurately and safely land on a deck at sea without a unique deck marker, a requirement that to date only our technology can achieve, by modeling the deck in 3D during landing and safe landing onto the deck, avoiding static and moving obstacles on the deck,” added Šimon.
This is not to say that other industries, such as retailers and brands, have not started to adopt drone deliveries, but the development of these in B2C deliveries is a bit slower because they are more sensitive to delivery costs. This is in contrast to the medical field where they are cost conscious, but in order to save lives, patients gain access to advanced medical care closer to their homes.
Most major retailers and brands already have a drone delivery project in various stages, Simon said. “Also, major shipping companies, such as UPS, DHL and Fedex, have all taken into account this logistical advantage,” he added. “This is true for shipping companies and large retailers who are continuously looking to optimize last and middle mile delivery between hubs and stores, with larger cargo drones.”
Among the largest and best-known drone delivery operations is Amazon
In this respect, Walmart appears to have the advantage of operating 4,700 stores with more than 100,000 top-selling items, located within 10 miles of 90% of the US population. This makes retail a unique position for drone delivery.
However, drone deliveries are not easy. Achieving a sustainable solution, which is competitive with other transport methods, requires a combination of advanced technology, high safety standards and low costs. This is why Amazon has struggled for several years, having developed a high-quality product in-house that is too big and expensive to market.
“The uniqueness of our technology is that it provides a high level of security and autonomy, but is still small, light and very affordable,” said Shimon. “So by using our technology, drone companies can achieve the level of safety and autonomy they need to reduce the number of people involved in drone operations while increasing their safety. Those are the two drivers necessary for this domain to really expand.”
“Not only does implementing this into our technology group improve individual deliveries, but it also gives us a clearer path to scaling our operation as drone delivery becomes more popular every year,” said DroneUp Chief Technology Officer John Vernon.
Winch delivery and drone mailboxes are the two main dominant methods of drone delivery. “A winch is a mechanical device used to take in (reel) or release (reel) rope or wire ropes, also called “cable” or “wire cable”.
“Winch delivery uses this mechanism to lower packages and is particularly popular as currently most deliveries are made in more rural areas with private homes with yards that have larger safe drop zones, compared to urban environments with residential and commercial buildings. In the US, these rural areas are more common, making drone delivery more efficient.
“Google Wing, Flytrex, DroneUp, and recently even Zipline have adopted the winch delivery method,” Shimon said. “One advantage is that the drone does not have to land and can safely drop the package from above, reducing risk and noise.
Drone mailboxes, also known as kiosks, towers or delivery docks, are a type of station or mailbox outside your home where the package will be delivered. The drone will land on the box, place the package there and then fly away. The customer will be notified that the package has been delivered. Then I can walk to the box and get the package. These boxes will be next to the apartment building or on the roof.
“Wonder Robotics’ WonderLand technology includes Vertical Detect And Avoid and robust precision landing, enabling UAVs to operate at scale while beyond the operator’s or visual observer’s line of sight (BVLOS),” said Shimon. “In urban environments, this includes obstacle avoidance systems so that drones can navigate around common settings such as trees, buildings, cables and more to deliver packages safely and quickly.”
“Commitment to safe operation is our top priority, and researching cutting-edge technology like Wonderland is so important to staying on that path,” said Vernon. DroneUp will validate Wonder Robotics technology in several areas through multiple operational flight tests.
Forbes – Business