A2Z has launched its RDS1 delivery drone system with a focus on safety and privacy concerns associated with drone deliveries. The delivery mechanism is based on DJI’s Matrice 600 Pro platform via the built-in railing system.
A2Z’s drone delivery system picks up the package and flies with it. Once at the delivery destination, the package free-falls from the drone while connected to a tether. Right before the package hits the ground, the tether is gently slowed down by a motor before the drone lowers a little to place the package on the ground.
The approach of dropping the package off while the drone stays in the air isn’t anything new, as Google’s Wing Aviation has been doing it for the last few years. The benefit of doing it this way means the drone doesn’t need to land, allowing it to save power, there is less noise pollution, and it’s less invasive when it comes to privacy.
Controlling the drone is fairly easy to do, as A2Z overlays its own data over DJI’s current app, giving you all the information you need to know about the package. The tether is rated for 100 pounds, meaning the drone would give in before that tether would.
Aaron Zhang, founder of A2Z Drone Delivery, LLC said:
Our rapid delivery system is ideal for situations where a drone cannot safely approach close proximity to its delivery location such as delivering radios or medical supplies to a search and rescue team in a forest or as a more efficient option to deliver and retrieve port documents from awaiting cargo ships. While other drone delivery platforms are designed to hover close to the ground, our tethered free-fall delivery technique enables efficient and accurate placement without the UAV approaching people, structures, or other obstructions like trees and wires.
- Payload status detection — Monitors payload throughout flight and delivery, enabling eventual beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) missions.
- Pre-flight weight check — Ensures the flight platform is not overloaded and controls payload deceleration.
- Rapid descent calculation — Automatically determines when to slow the payload freefall at the proper distance from the ground.
- Manual delivery control — Intelligent onboard systems provide safeguards while allowing pilots to manually control tethered payload delivery and retrieval.
- Emergency payload abandonment — Allows the pilot to quickly detach the drone from its payload amid flight emergencies.
- Transverse tether winding — Ensures the tether is tightly woven on the reel to maximize capacity and prevent knotting.
- Passive payload lock — Safeguards against payload loss or tether slippage in case of unforeseen power fluctuations, and eliminates the need for additional payload housing.