From the laboratories of Moratuwa, to the Lankan engineers aiming to end world hunger, drones are beginning to play a significant part in our lives. Takas, an online e-commerce site dealing with electronics is also attempting to join the fray by testing out a new drone delivery system.
The primary reason behind the experiment was to see whether the drone can safely carry a load and then deliver it to an intended recipient. Next would be a test to see if this system is viable within Colombo city limits and also what technical requirements would be needed.
Using off the shelf hardware such as a DJI Phantom 4 drone and a package taped to it, the team at Takas launch the drone from the Takas HQ and successfully maneuver it to the recipient’s location.
There are numerous benefits of implementing a drone delivery system, the primary ones being an extremely fast delivery and no traffic to deal with.
However, there are a number of aspects that would have to be worked out as well. As seen in our interview with Tilak Dissanayake and his Robotic Air Cargo Network, aspects such as the size and weight of the package have to be worked out as well. If the package is too heavy, the drone would be unable to carry it and risks crashing to the ground. Apart from that, the shape of the package itself should be considered as it affects the airflow around the drone and is used to calculate proper weight distribution.
Furthermore, another element identified by the Takas team was that the terrain and building height data available currently is insufficient. The terrain data is vital in order to plot out optimal routes for delivery and the building height data would also be useful to ensure that the drone wouldn’t crash into buildings as well. They would also have to work out a specification list for industrial sized drones designed to carry a payload and also develop a system to simplify package attachment and release
They would also have to obtain the relevant permission from the authorities such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka just to make sure their drones don’t get taken out by surface-to-air missiles. Currently flying a drone is restricted to private spaces and the usage and flight of commercial drones requires a qualified pilot to operate it. If you’re interested, we also covered the basics of drones.
We applaud Takas for their endeavors and wish them all the very best. We are also eagerly awaiting the day that our packages arrive at our doorstep via drones.
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