A2Z Drone Delivery, LLC, developer of a patented tethered freefall drone delivery mechanism, recently launched its flagship product, the RDS1 (Rapid Delivery System), which maintains a safe hover of up to 150 feet (45.71 meters) while its delivery mechanism controls the payload’s freefall for a safe and accurate touchdown.
Offered as a modular add-on system or as a ready-to-fly platform based on the DJI® Matrice 600 Pro, the RDS1 is designed for payloads up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs.). With a range of up to 3.5 km (2.17 miles), the RDS1 is ideal for rapid deployment of time-sensitive first aid and life-saving medical supplies, or to deliver material to destinations where landing the drone is problematic such as a tossing ship or dense forest.
The RDS1 addresses some of the consumer-protection concerns with drone delivery. By delivering payloads from a safe hover altitude, the RDS1 protects recipients from spinning UAV propellers, while mitigating privacy concerns of low-flying drones and abating intrusive rotor noise. The RDS1’s patented freefall delivery mechanism reduces time-on-station to ensure onboard power can be put to use in other ways. Built on the familiar DJI flight control interface, the A2Z Drone Delivery app combines manual control system operations with an onboard sensor array to manage the package’s freefall and gently stop its descent just above the ground. Rated at 100 pounds tensile strength, the RDS1’s Kevlar® tether and elastic fabric pouch can be reeled back up for reuse or to retrieve materials from personnel on the ground.
“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,” said Aaron Zhang, founder of A2Z Drone Delivery, LLC. “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.”
The company’s proprietary delivery mechanism incorporates a Lidar sensing system that streams continuous data to the onboard firmware, which controls the payload’s rapid descent. Additional integrated features include:
- 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.
“As we bring this first iteration of our unique rapid delivery system to market, we’re eager to work with our customers to adapt the system to meet their unique mission demands and set our product roadmap to suit their needs,” Zhang said. “We have already initiated development of a ‘tap-and-go’ payload auto-release mechanism to remotely deposit the payload without an awaiting recipient, and while our flexible payload pouches can already accommodate diverse demands, our design team is nimble enough to adapt the delivery system to just about any payload the flight platform can support.”
More info: www.a2zdronedelivery.com/rds1