Startup Elroy air from San Francisco developsunmanned freight drones, capable of transporting up to 70 kilograms at a distance of up to 300 kilometers. According to the idea of the developers, their offspring will solve the problems with the delivery of humanitarian aid and parcels to remote areas and can become a good alternative to small drones, which often require repair and are unable to fly for such long distances.
While Amazon patents various ideas related to the delivery of small aircraft, other development companies UAV think globally: not every cargo can fit in the cargo area of a miniature aircraft. A large drone is quite capable of coping with the task. In addition, a small and light drone can be easily broken, while to a large unit vandals are afraid to even come close.
The drone from Elroy Air is called the Aluminum Falcon and in size it reaches the size of a small airplane. According to the calculations of the developers, the speed of the drones can reach 160 kilometers per hour. The prototype of the device is equipped with lidars, cameras and other sensors that will provide him with a safe and fast flight from the warehouse to the destination. Aluminum Falcon is equipped with a hybrid engine and can vertically take off and land.
One of the key features of Aluminum Falcon is that not only the drones themselves, but also the cargo container will be equipped with an artificial intelligence program that will allow it to “smartly load” and take off only after the cargo bay is completely filled. Delivering all parcels, the drone will receive a signal from the hold and return to the base.
The ability to cover a distance of 300 kilometers will allow Aluminum Falcon not to compete with truckers, calmly transporting goods for short distances through the air. In addition, the relatively small size will not affect the ability of the UAV to travel in the air above the city – Aluminum Falcon due to its AI can easily maneuver between high-rises, trees and wires.
The full-scale working prototype developers plan to submit by the summer of 2018, and after a couple of years of testing they hope to launch mass production.