A Drone for Last-Centimeter Delivery
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Engineers developed a new drone that uses cutting-edge technology to deliver parcels weighing up to 500 grams. The device will never get stuck in traffic, it's programmed to avoid obstacles, and it can reach destinations on steep or uneven terrain.
With a drone, things like letters, medicine, first-aid supplies and food can be delivered quickly, cheaply and autonomously without having to worry about traffic, blocked roads or a lack of roads.
The new drone, which has been designed in Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) Laboratory of Intelligent Systems with funding of NCCR Robotics, is equipped with several innovations that make it particularly safe, autonomous and easy to transport.
The unique idea here is that the drone becomes the package that wraps around the cargo before flight, just like a mail package. The foldable carbon-fiber cage protects the drone and the cargo in case of a collision or fall. What's more, the recipient can catch the drone mid-flight without being injured by the propellers, which are located within the structure and have a safety system so that they stop when the cage is opened.
The origami-inspired design means that the frame can be folded and unfolded in a single movement. It can be flattened in just a few seconds, reducing the drone's volume by 92% so that it can easily be slipped inside a backpack.
The drone -a multicopter with four propellers- can take off and land vertically, which enhances its accuracy. And it can carry a package weighing up to 500 grams over a distance of 2 kilometers.
"This project is a work in progress -in addition to strengthening its ability to detect and avoid objects, we are exploring possibilities to increase the drone's payload capacity and enhance its autonomy, "said Przemyslaw Kornatowski, who developed the drone.