The company on Wednesday announced the commercial launch of the RDSX for drone delivery applications. The RDSX was developed in conjunction with a “leading global logistics provider” and can deliver two separate payloads of up to 4.4 pounds each a round-trip distance of 11.18 miles in total. Delivering a single package increases the drone’s range to 18.6 miles round-trip.
“Residential drone delivery pilot programs are coming online throughout the United States right now, and much of the industry is anxiously awaiting the large-scale regulatory approval that will see residential deployments rapidly expand,” said Aaron Zhang, founder of A2Z Drone Delivery. “While the raw technical capabilities for these deliveries already exist, a key benchmark for regulatory approvals will be addressing the consumer comfort with UAVs being rolled out into daily life. Our tethered freefall delivery capability integrated with the RDSX offers a way to mitigate some of those consumer concerns.”
A2Z’s RDS1 slowly lowers a package from a height of up to 150 feet, enabling the drone and its rotors to remain far above buildings, other obstacles and people. The tether is a controlled drop that can be managed through the A2Z Drone Delivery app and combines manual control system operations with an onboard computer and sensor array to control the drop of the package. It features a Kevlar tether and auto-release mechanism to leave the package behind.
In April, A2Z collaborated with DroneUp to make deliveries of Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) with Coffee to residents of Coffee County, Georgia. DroneUp managed the flights using A2Z’s RDS1. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) helped facilitate the deliveries.
The company’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight platform includes a pair of cameras to allow pilots to navigate the drone beyond visual line of sight. The RDSX also has a downward-facing lidar sensing system to stream continuous data back to the control system.
The drone features quick-swap bucket-style batteries for more flight uptime, and it is capable of operating in diverse conditions including temperatures ranging from minus 4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, in up to 95% humidity and at elevations up to 4,800 feet.
The drone platform’s key features include:
- Onboard parachute that limits potential damage to the drone, payloads and property below in case of complete power failure or accident.
- Emergency payload abandonment that allows the pilot to quickly detach the payload from the drone amid flight emergencies.
- Passive payload lock that safeguards against payload loss or tether slippage in case of unforeseen power fluctuations.
- Preflight weight check that ensures the flight platform is not overloaded and controls payload deceleration.
- Payload status detection that monitors payload throughout flight and delivery.
- Rapid descent calculation that automatically determines when to slow the payload freefall at the proper distance from the ground.
- Manual delivery control with intelligent onboard systems that provide safeguards while allowing pilots to manually control tethered payload delivery and retrieval.
- Transverse tether winding that ensures the tether is tightly woven on the reel to maximize capacity and prevent knotting.
- Payload delivery boxes that are robust, lightweight and low-cost.
- Extendable radio signal range for customers to customize their ground station signal range to suit specific needs.
- Optional continuous-charging battery dock with 32 battery bays that is capable of batch-charging four batteries simultaneously.