Have you ever seen those video of drones doing deliveries? Pizza deliveries is one that comes to mind.
You see the pizza being loaded in to the drone. You see the drone take off. Next you see that drone flying across the country side with the destination in the distance giving you the feeling that the drone has flown a considerable way. Next you see the drone coming in to land and usually the people waiting for the pizza that they ordered only minutes ago. Then….
Next you see the drone flying back to the store and people enjoying the pizza like it is the best pizza they have ever eaten.
It is the SCENE MISSING part that I always left me curious.
What happens in that last couple of meters?
There is a reason that you don’t get to see that part of the process. It’s because it is the most complicated part of the drone delivery process.
It is assumed that the drone lands, but how does it know where to land? Is it piloted by people back at the store who are looking for a good place to land and just guess that this is where you want it? Is it autonomous and uses the GPS coordinates of your yard. Do you have to know these coordinates when ordering your pizza? Do people receiving the pizza approach the drone after the rotors have stopped spinning.
Fun fact. When testing, Google found that people could not help themselves but approach the drone before the rotors stopped spinning and often came in to contact with the drone hurting themselves or the drone. Therefore they drop their packages down on a cable.
How does the drone know when the pizza has been removed and that it’s safe to take off again? Do the recipients press a button on the drone tell it that the delivery is complete? Are there cameras broadcasting the delivery in progress back, so that the pilot knows what’s going on?
“SCENE MISSING” = The last 10 meters delivery problem.
This is the hard part of drone deliveries. That’s why you don’t get to see it in the videos. Yes there are many more issues to overcome like privacy and coordinating airspace etc (part of a upcoming blog post) but this part is hard, and it’s what we’re most interested in.
We at BLKTATU have that solution. We give a pre-defined place for the drone to deliver to and the ability for the drone to make that precise delivery. Customers don’t have to know the GPS coordinates of their house, it is already pre-configured.
This is the missing link when it come to the last 10 meters part of drone deliveries.
To see exactly what we are doing, check out our videos on how it works here.