Drone deliveries in China are on the fast track

drone deliveries in china

Drone Deliveries in China are on the fast track

JD.com and SF Holding are building networks of large and small UAVs, and working with regulators to create rules for widespread use.

The day after Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc.’s mid-year sale, a company drone took off from a playground in the city of Xi’an to deliver one of the orders in a football-sized box to a village in the mountains to the south. Continue reading “Drone deliveries in China are on the fast track”

American company HorseFly Truck launches Drone Package Delivery System

HorseFly Truck

American company HorseFly Truck launches Drone Package Delivery System

Workhorse Group Inc., an American technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the commercial electric transportation sector, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a patent, number 9,915,956, for the HorseFly Truck Launched Drone Package Delivery System.

The HorseFly UAV Delivery System is a custom-built, high efficiency delivery UAV that is fully integrated with the Workhorse line of electric/hybrid delivery trucks. The HorseFly system conforms to FAA guidelines for UAV operation in the U.S. Most notably, being fully integrated with delivery trucks, the system is designed such that a driver or driver’s assistant can maintain line-of-sight operation of the UAV delivery process. Continue reading “American company HorseFly Truck launches Drone Package Delivery System”

Amazon is granted patent for delivery drone that can respond to human gestures (Video)

delivery drone

Amazon.com has been granted a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures.

The concept is part of Amazon’s goal to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. Issued earlier this week, the patent may help Amazon grapple with how flying robots might interact with human bystanders and customers waiting on their doorsteps.

Depending on a person’s gestures — a welcoming thumbs up, shouting or frantic arm waving — the drone can adjust its behavior, according to the patent. The machine could release the package it’s carrying, alter its flight path to avoid crashing, ask humans a question or abort the delivery, the patent says.

Among several illustrations in the design, a person is shown outside his home, flapping his arms in what Amazon describes as an “unwelcoming manner,” to show an example of someone shooing away a drone flying overhead. A voice bubble comes out of the man’s mouth, depicting possible voice commands to the incoming machine. (Amazon.com chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Continue reading “Amazon is granted patent for delivery drone that can respond to human gestures (Video)”

Drone Delivers Direct To Grunt – Marine Corps Hive UAV (Video)

Marine Corps Hive UAV

It was a Marine reservist, transport officer Maj. Chris Thobaben, who had the idea to repurpose the scout drones for logistics after seeing too many comrades killed or wounded on supply runs in Iraq.

DROP ZONE COCKATOO, QUANTICO: You can hear it over the roar of the wind and the distant thump of mortar rounds: the high-pitched buzz of miniature drones. I track the incoming quadcopter with my camera until I’m starting to bend backward and I realize it’s hovering directly above me. That’s my cue to move, shortly before a contractor nearby hits the “release” command on his tablet and the drone drops its cargo with a klunk: a metal ammo magazine.

The magazine is empty — no live ammunition for today’s test — but it shows what could be done. All day long here, racking up more than 400 sorties, Marines and contractors are tapping tablets to summon mini-drones from a central “Hive” to drop empty magazines, canteens and MRE ration packs on demand. Instead of the standard 96-hour cycle from requesting resupply to getting it, requests are filled in minutes. Continue reading “Drone Delivers Direct To Grunt – Marine Corps Hive UAV (Video)”

Commercial drones in U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months

package deliveries

Commercial drones in U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months

After lagging behind other countries for years, commercial drones in the U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months, according to federal regulators and industry officials.

The momentum partly stems from stepped-up White House pressure, prompting closer cooperation between the government and companies such as Amazon.com Inc. seeking authorizations for such fledgling businesses. The upshot, according to these officials, is newfound confidence by both sides that domestic package-delivery services finally appear on the verge of taking off. Continue reading “Commercial drones in U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months”

Sabrewing Aircraft closes funding for hybrid-electric cargo challenger to Cessna 208

Sabrewing Aircraft

A California startup promising to build an electric long-distance cargo drone announced yesterday that it has raised 140 percent of its initial angel funding goal. Sabrewing Aircraft Company CEO Ed De Reyes said the company had raised just shy of US$1 million from The Drone Fund, Integro LTD and two other investors.

The funds will be used to construct a large-scale, long-endurance, high-cargo-capacity unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that its manufacturer says will be able to compete with small cargo aircraft such as the Cessna 208, in terms of cost, range, and payload.

While cargo drones are on the cusp of going mainstream, with big players like Boeing getting into the game, the model presented by Sabrewing Aircraft Co. could be the first electric cargo drone with the sort of range normally reserved for large fixed-wing aircraft. The UAV, dubbed “The Draco-2” will eventually carry up to two tons, for a maximum distance of 5,000 miles – for up to 50 hours – at altitudes reaching 22,000 feet. Continue reading “Sabrewing Aircraft closes funding for hybrid-electric cargo challenger to Cessna 208”

5th Annual Transformative VTOL Workshop papers available

VTOL

Since 2014, AHS International has been leading a series of workshops on Transformative Vertical Flight (TVF), building a community of aerospace professionals that includes technical, regulatory and business elements, and exploring the potential for new forms of air transportation systems with innovative propulsion systems. The focus has been on systems that embody combinations of on-demand, electric and hybrid-electric propulsion, and vertiport-capable configurations and designs. See the AHS Electric VTOL News website for news and a directory of concepts under development.

The 5th Annual Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop, held this year in San Francisco, California, featured the latest advances and possibilities in urban air mobility. Videos and presentations for the workshop can be downloaded below. Next year’s workshop will be rebranded as the “6th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium” and is planned to be held in Jan. 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Past workshop briefings and videos can be found at the AHS webpage on Transformative Vertical Flight.  Continue reading “5th Annual Transformative VTOL Workshop papers available”

China’s drone newcomer Tengoen Technology has ambitious plans

Tengoen

China’s drone newcomer Tengoen Technology has ambitious plans

China’s drone newcomer Tengoen Technology (also spelled Tengdun) has ambitious plans. The company promises to market armed drones for purchase. It also promises to build the world’s biggest cargo drone. That’s quite a slate for a company that was only founded in 2016. Continue reading “China’s drone newcomer Tengoen Technology has ambitious plans”

Four years after Amazon introduced the idea, big aerospace companies are finally revealing their own cargo drone prototypes (Video)

cargo drone

Four years after Amazon introduced the idea, big aerospace companies are finally revealing their own cargo drone prototypes

Using unmanned aerial vehicles for door-to-door deliveries seemed like a laughable pipe dream when Amazon tossed out the fanciful idea on 60 Minutes in December 2013. But some very important people didn’t find the concept so far-fetched. Continue reading “Four years after Amazon introduced the idea, big aerospace companies are finally revealing their own cargo drone prototypes (Video)”