The race to who can make the best delivery drone system is in full effect as Matternet raises $16 million with the help of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. There are so many different ways drones can be used to deliver things like packages ordered from online retailers or medicine from a doctor, but Matternet plans to use its drones to deliver items from peer to peer.
How it works
Unlike Amazon who plans to deliver packages right to your door, Matternet wants to make sending items from person to person easy by placing “Matternet Stations” throughout urban areas. These stations are no bigger than a human with a drone sitting on top ready to take off and deliver what you need.
The way that this drone carries small objects is with a small red box that appears to be the size of a book, that should give you a reference as to what you might be able to fit inside. Before you place the box inside of the station it does a scan to find out where it’s going. Once the door opens, you slide the red box in for arms to load it onto the drone. Once everything is set, the drone slowly rises up gaining altitude and then embarks on its mission. Check out this visual made by Matternet to see it in action:
Matternet’s tests first started in Zurich, Switzerland but has expanded throughout more of the country since they started in 2015. These tests involved their drones delivering blood samples and the data is looking good with roughly 1700 completed flights and 850 deliveries made.
Together with the Department of Transportation the FAA recently selected a few companies to begin testing the same delivery service between hospitals here in the United States. Matternet is one of them, and Boeing HorizonX’s Managing Director Brian Schettler said:
“Between the company’s success in Switzerland and being selected by the FAA to test unmanned aerial networks in the U.S., we are excited to work together to reimagine how the world connects and shape the next generation of transportation solutions.”
This is a great sign as the FAA is open to drone deliveries here in the States but wants to make sure it is done right and safe.
Boeing HorizonX is a branch of Boeing that uses their leverage in the aerospace world to bring new ideas to life. Small startups like Matternet use their funding power to bring to life their idea which in turn reaps benefits for Boeing. The world could use a safe way to send goods via drones, further implementing them into our lives, and with a reputable company like Boeing behind the project, we can rest assured that it will be done properly.
What do you think about being able to deliver items to your peers? Let us know in the comments below.
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