Cambridge Consultants has developed a new drone delivery concept that is able to place items directly into customers’ hands, without the need for postcodes or landing mats.
DelivAir uses the GPS on a person’s smartphone to pinpoint their location, with the drone receiving updates in flight to track if someone is on the move. Once within visual range, the drone switches to precision optical tracking and a 3D imaging and ranging system to locate and authenticate the recipient, who also receives an alert that the delivery is imminent.
As the drone hovers directly above, the LED flash on the customer’s smartphone sends a coded message to verify identity. The package is then lowered into the recipient’s hands, using a stabilising winch to keep it steady. Once in the customer’s hands, the package is unhitched by the recipient and the drone returns to its base.
“Drone delivery is fast and ideal for something that is needed immediately. In that case, a consumer wants a delivery directly to them as a person – not to a location,” said Nathan Wrench, head of the industrial and energy business at Cambridge Consultants.
“Our DelivAir concept has the potential to revolutionise the delivery process, by removing the address restriction that other drone technologies are limited by. We are taking cloud retail to the next level, delivering out of the clouds and into your hand.”
According to Cambridge Consultants, the concept would be ideal for emergency situations, such as delivering a first aid kit to a hiker, or an EpiPen or defibrillator in a life-saving situation. It also has potential for disaster relief, bringing essential components into remote regions. At the other end of the spectrum, it could simply be used to airdrop a puncture repair kit, some flowers and a burrito, in order to avoid the slightly different type of disaster depicted in the video below.