[Watch] One Step Closer to Instant Package Delivery
Amazon has been making a lot of investments recently to make the logistics of package delivery more efficient and more convenient for consumers. You can now have a package delivered directly inside your home or the trunk of your car, and they’ve also been crowdsourcing last mile delivery since 2015. But we have developed a system that I think addresses a still unmet need— delivering a package directly to your hands, whenever you want it, wherever you are, not constrained by physical addresses or roads. It’s a drone-based delivery system we call DelivAir:
How it Works
Like other drone delivery solutions, ours isn’t constrained by roads, and it’s ideal for delivering small things quickly. The insight we had that makes DelivAir unique is that it's much more convenient to have those things delivered directly to the hands of the recipient rather than to an address. Our delivery drone flies to your general location using GPS, then uses its smart vision system to precisely locate and authenticate you. It then uses a stabilizing winch to lower your package directly into your hands. What could be more convenient than that?!
Our delivery drone flies to your general location using GPS, then uses its smart vision system to precisely locate and authenticate you.
How it Could Be Used
While there are still regulatory hurdles, the US is beginning to assess how to regulate drones and integrate them safely into U.S. airspace. We developed the fully functional DelivAir prototype to show what is possible once the regulatory landscape allows. Because the system isn’t restricted to roads and zip codes, it enables many fun possibilities, like having lunch delivered to you on the ski slopes. It could also revolutionize gift giving, since an address isn’t required. I could send an old friend a birthday gift as easily as sending a text, without knowing his current address or whether or not he’s home. And think about the impact to shopping for clothing online! You could order two different shoe sizes and try them on while the drone waits to see which size fits.
Because the system isn’t restricted to roads and zip codes, it enables many fun possibilities...
Some of the more compelling use cases are for safety critical situations, like bringing a first aid kit to a remote hiker, an inner tube to a stranded cyclist, or an EpiPen to a person in need. DelivAir is also great for situations that require authenticating the recipient prior to delivering a package. It pairs the phone’s built-in authentication system with a coded pattern from the flash LED to uniquely and securely identify the recipient; making it useful for things like delivering sensitive documents, medication (Amazon is taking on that space as well), or maybe even alcohol that requires age verification.
We’ve also considered functions beyond package delivery, adapting our drone to take water samples autonomously for research and environmental monitoring applications.
It’s often a significant challenge to collect data in environments where conditions are difficult for electronics to tolerate, like industrial facilities, commercial kitchens, or on the seafloor. But with smart engineering and the right approach, data collected in these harsh environments can provide enormous value.
While micromobility solutions have flourished and grown during the pandemic, the existential question of how to solve the biggest challenge ahead for the micromobility segment—how users ride—remains unanswered. In this post, we’ll touch on a number of opportunities for the industry to embrace innovation and technology in order to remain the chosen method of transportation, even in a post-COVID world.
Watch an expert-packed panel discussion exploring new technologies like VR, AI, sensors, sidewalk detection, and gamification which hold the promise to reshape user behavior and solve micromobility issues for cities and operators. The panel is moderated by micromobility International and features leaders from Lyft, Unagi, Knack, and Synapse.
As the only form of public transit that is readily capable of supporting social distancing, shared bikes and scooters will be an essential component of an effective urban economic recovery strategy in the coming months. Prior to COVID-19, the city of San Francisco announced that future shared scooter platforms will be required to have deterrents to riding on sidewalks. Naturally, being both SF residents who will be affected by this decision, and curious engineers with micromobility industry experience, we decided to leverage our expertise in machine learning to explore the specifics involved in implementing a system which can determine if a scooter is riding on a street or a sidewalk.
Synapse is a product development firm. We work with the best companies in the world to drive innovation and introduce cutting-edge devices that positively impact our lives. Fueled by a desire to solve complex engineering challenges, we develop products that transform brands and accelerate advances in technology.