Automated winch for drones can deliver any box up to 22 pounds

rds2 drone delivery winch

Commercial drone solutions specialist A2Z Drone Delivery has announced its second-generation automated delivery winch, RDS2 (Rapid Delivery System 2). The company says its latest product offers the highest payload capacity (22 pounds) of any tethered delivery system on the market, and also eliminates the need for specialty payload boxes.

Most drone delivery systems require payloads to be packaged in special boxes or onboard payload compartments. A2Z Drone Delivery sees this as a cumbersome packaging step to deployments — one that also restricts delivery possibilities.

So, with the new RDS2, the California-based company wants to provide drone delivery operators with more flexibility in the shape, size, and weight of payloads they can carry. Aaron Zhang, founder and CEO of A2Z Drone Delivery, explains:

The RDS2 can auto-release the shipper’s own boxes, removing the need for a recipient on the ground to meet the drone, and retrieve packages without landing. These capabilities, combined with the utmost payload flexibility and the heaviest payload capacity currently on the market, make our RDS2 a strong investment for drone service providers looking to rapidly scale commercial delivery applications.

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RDS2 automated drone delivery winch features

  • Heavy-Duty Drive Motor: Enables the RDS2 to deliver payloads up to 10 kg/22 pounds, the highest payload capacity on the market.
  • Work With Any Off-The-Shelf Boxes: Requiring no specialty delivery boxes, the RDS2 fits right into any existing logistics network.
  • Payload Auto-Release: Patent-pending auto-release mechanism can deposit any box without the need for a human receiver.
  • Payload Pickup: Retrieve payloads up to 5 kg while maintaining a safe hover.
  • Low Profile and Easy-To-Integrate Form Factor: The entire chassis of the RDS2 can be easily tucked into the belly of any heavy-lift drone and is less than 10 cm tall, leaving plenty of headroom for cargo.
  • Ultra-Long-Lasting Tether: Upgraded braided Kevlar tether extends maintenance cycles up to 800 deliveries between tether replacements.
  • General-Purpose Payload Hook: Optional manual-release hook capable of delivering or picking up everything from bags to buckets.
  • A2Z Assistant: Intuitive desktop application for maintenance, system configuration, etc.

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Zhang says that in addition to the rapidly expanding residential drone delivery applications, the RDS2 automated drone delivery winch can also be used for intra-site transport of tools and samples in mining operations, shore-to-ship delivery of urgent supplies and port documents, as well as placement and retrieval of ground sensors for industrial inspections.

Meanwhile, company CTO Evan Hertafeld points out that RDS2 has already completed extensive beta testing and has proven successful in real-world stresses and user demands. Hertafeld says:

The RDS2 has completed over 2000 test deliveries and is already deployed with six of our beta test partners which have tested the platform in a diverse array of applications. Responding to partner feedback, we also sought to streamline maintenance with our new A2Z Assistant software and a longer-lasting tether to reduce downtime.

Read: Cargo drone maker Windracers secures additional funding for delivery trials

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