We are really excited to see Amazon getting into the drone space.
Aside from being extremely cool, we know that delivering items via small flying robots is going to change the way we access small physical items forever. That is why we have been testing similar prototypes.
To make this happen it will take a lot more than just software and hardware. We will need the support of cities and the creation of a new virtual air highway with new rules, new protocols and new infrastructure.
This is why we teamed up with AirHighway to help flush out a blueprint for a futuristic, flexible and scalable air transport network. We believe this network needs to be designed by all of us, not just one single company.
At the core of this new infrastructure is Strength, Safety and Reliability, all of which are the foundation of Skycatch’s underlying technology and product vision.
We are building a UAV system which will overcome some key hurdles:
- Bad Weather – It has to withstand high winds, rain and snow.
- Batteries – It has to last long enough to carry something for a few miles.
- Landing – It has to land without a remote control and has to be accurate.
- Propellers – It has to be shielded in case it falls or runs into people!
- Vandalism – It should fly high enough to steer away from people trying to shoot it down or compromise it.
- Theft: It should land in authorized drop off and pick up stations in secure areas (on top of apartment buildings, corporate offices, or houses) to ensure the UAV and its payload cannot be stolen by someone unauthorized.
- Physical safety: It should use a dedicated drop off station, such as our ground station, rather than landing on a lawn or patio to ensure children or unaware people are not near the UAV during landing and takeoff.
- FAA – It has to comply with regulations.
- Speed – It has to fly fast enough to get somewhere far afield and back in 30 minutes.
- Crashing – It has to be able to withstand a crash, and have collision avoidance technology built in to ensure crashes are rare occurrences.
- Payload – It has to be able to carry at least 5 lbs to make it worthwhile.
- Charging – It needs the ability to charge and swap batteries on its own, without people in the process. It should also have multiple of these stations in case it needs to stop in between.
- Drop and pickup – It should have a standard pickup and drop off box that can be plugged into a network which can handle hundreds of UAVs flying everywhere.
These are just a few of the challenges we are building for.
Here are some photos of us testing and working on our ground station. Click here for more details
Amazon is helping us increase awareness. If they are serious, I’m sure they are also thinking about the items above. Hopefully they’ll join the AirHighway initiative and contribute to this cause. What do we really think? Finally a big company getting serious about drones and joining the effort! (we call ours aerial robots btw), so THANK YOU Amazon.
Co-founder & CEO