Pizza Pie in the Sky! – A Brief History of the Goal to Use Drones to Deliver Pizzas

Pizza Pie in the Sky! – A Brief History of the Goal to Use Drones to Deliver Pizzas

28 SEPTEMBER, 2016 Pizza Delivery Drones Mamma Mia! Will full-scale pizza drone delivery services be the next big thing? This past August, pizza powerhouse Domino’s made history by announcing it was trialling pizza deliveries via drone in New Zealand. Check out the video of the successful delivery here. Experimentation with drone deliveries is nothing new for Domino’s. In 2013 they did a promotional stunt in the UK (video link: YouTube) and just this past June they did something similar in Greece (video link: YouTube) while also showcasing a prototype of their future “zero click ordering” app with a 10-second countdown. This time around however, Domino’s has partnered up with Flirtey, the company who this past year alone has trialled drone delivery of medical supplies as well as drone delivery of 7-Eleven goodies such as coffee, donuts, a chicken sandwich and a Slurpee. This partnership is part of Domino’s long-term strategy to automate delivery alongside the company’s future fleet of 190 kg (419 lb) Domino’s Robotic Units (aka DRUs) which are the company’s (potentially solar powered) commercial autonomous delivery vehicles ready to deliver up to 10 hot pizza pies within a 20 km (12.4 mile) radius of their home franchise base. Is Domino’s the first to come up with this concept of flying pizzas? No. But they are most likely the first to be able to make it happen at a commercial level. University students and their supervisor in Berlin work on devouring the first pizza successfully delivered via drone back in 2012. Screen capture via YouTube Pizza Drones Then Leonardo The Pizza Delivery Copter (Germany, 2012) A Free University of Berlin student project, this...
Drones Going Postal – A Summary of Postal Service Delivery Drone Trials

Drones Going Postal – A Summary of Postal Service Delivery Drone Trials

27 JUNE, 2016 Postal Delivery Drones With the rapid demise of snail mail and the explosive double digit growth of e-Commerce, postal companies have been forced to seek new ways to expand beyond their traditional letter delivery business models. Given the online consumer’s expectation of fast parcel delivery, it is not surprising that many of these postal service companies are now turning towards delivery drone technology to remain afloat. This article focuses on the recent activities different postal companies from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore and Ukraine have undertaken as they test the feasibility and profitability of unmanned delivery drone services.  Although the general consensus is that it will still take a while for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to become the defacto parcel delivery mode given a variety of existing obstacles (e.g. consumer expectations, end recipient safety, threat of theft, regulatory frameworks, battery life limitation, etc.), the current trend does indeed point to a time where Fido won’t be able to savor the mailman’s leg. The Australia Post parcel delivery drone in action. Photograph by Eddie Jim via the Sydney Morning Herald Australia Post In 2015 Australia Post reported their first full year loss in over 30 years of operation. Their AU$222 million (US$171 million) loss was a dramatic change compared to their AU$116.2 million (US$89.72 million) profit in 2014. What they did see however was that although letter volumes fell by 7.3%, parcel revenue rose by 3.6%. Ever since then, this government owned postal company down under has been quite active in the testing of delivery drone usage “It is not a matter of if, but rather of when” This...
Walmart to use inventory drones at their 190 U.S. distribution centers

Walmart to use inventory drones at their 190 U.S. distribution centers

Walmart is getting ready to use inventory management drones in their distribution centers. Taking 30 pictures per second, the drone can catalog in one day what would take human employees one month using handheld scanning devices.  Expected timeline is 6-9 months until deployment. The original article can be found here: http://nyti.ms/24qSqg5 ...
Catalonia at the vanguard of drone development?

Catalonia at the vanguard of drone development?

UAVs in Catalonia are highly ranked (4 out of the top 10 worldwide as per one research study). Reasons? Catalonia has extensive drone history (since the 1980’s) They have the BCN Drone Center (a specialist drone center with 2,500 hectares of segregated airspace for drone testing) Accommodating laws (allowing UAVs of up to 25 kg to fly outdoors outside of cities and built up neighborhoods to height of 120 meters and withing 500 m of its pilot) A government sponsored CataloniaSmartDrones working group (comprised of 25 companies and 16 organizations, including universities and research groups, and all working together on making the region drone-friendly) The original article can be found here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/come-fly-with-me-why-catalonia-is-really-seeing-drones-take-off/...
Drones in Japanese Golf Courses

Drones in Japanese Golf Courses

Starting May 9, Rakuten will test drone deliveries on a golf course in Japan. The drones can provide food, snacks and small accessories (e.g. new golf balls) to players while they are out on the course between 8:30 am and 3 pm. Maximum parcel weight is 2 kg. Minimum purchase amount is 100 yen (~0.90 USD). Video...

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