Zipline reveals cute little droid for more accurate drone delivery

Zipline announced its next-generation electric autonomous drone platform on Wednesday, which includes an updated drone as well as a more accurate method of delivering parcels to customers’ homes.

Zipline has historically parachuted packages from the sky onto a target area roughly the size of several parking spaces. Now, Zipline is introducing its droid, a vase about the size of a small duffel bag that automatically steers the lanyard down from the drone, steers it to a target location, and gently empties it. its contents before being compressed back into the drone.

“Just like modern cars use sensors and cameras to understand the world around them, our droid will have a powerful set of built-in sensors, including GPS and image sensors, that will be used to maneuver and Help ensure the delivery location is free of children or dogs. or other obstacles,” Jo Mardall, Zipline’s head of engineering, told TechCrunch, noting that a similar sensor helps navigate the P2 Zip, the next-generation drone.

The droid’s three fans help it resist changes in wind or other environmental factors for more precise delivery – Zipline says they can narrow the drop-off area to within 2 meters or about 6.5 feet.

The P2 can carry 6 to 8 pounds of payload and has a 10-mile service radius when delivering a package and returning to a dock. Like Zipline’s previous drone version, the P2 is a fixed-wing aircraft. However, it also comes with 4 propellers that allow the vehicle to hover in mid-air and perform vertical take-offs and landings. This not only helps with delivery, but fulfillment as well.

The new delivery platform includes mounting and charging hardware that can be attached to the exterior of any building or set up as a standalone structure. When the drones return from a delivery, they will dock themselves, release their empty robot, receive a new robot, and then fly back to make another delivery. Zipline also designed a bundled software that can be integrated with third-party ordering and inventory management systems, as well as an app that allows customers and companies to track orders “to each customer.” second”.

Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, Co-Founder and CEO of Zipline, said: “We built the closest thing to teleportation ever created – a smooth, ultra-fast automated logistics system. , convenient and truly magical, serves everyone equally, wherever they are. statement.

Some businesses have pledged to use the updated service, such as the fast casual salad bowl chain Sweetgreen, although Zipline did not provide specifics on when or where those deliveries will be. begin. Michigan Medicine is another new customer hoping to double the number of prescriptions it fills each year through its in-house pharmacy.

Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City Major metropolitan areas are expanding their partnership starting last October to include the new service. MultiCare Health System for existing customers in Washington will also use the new platform to speed diagnosis and delivery of prescriptions and medical equipment across hospitals, doctors’ offices and laboratories. experience.

Finally, the government of Rwanda, Zipline’s first customerwill expand its partnership with Zipline to initiate more precise deliveries to households, hotels and medical facilities in Kigali, and beyond.

Zipline said it will continue to offer the original airdrop delivery service along with the new service, as they complement each other and can address different use cases.

“We are very excited about this new platform because we think it is the best delivery experience. Wyrobek says it’s not just the best drone delivery experience, it’s the best delivery experience.

Zipline is aiming to roll out the new system to its first customers early next year. The company plans to conduct more than 10,000 test flights this year with about 100 aircraft.


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