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The newly unveiled Matternet Station, together with Matternet’s cloud platform and its autonomous M2 drones, is a viable solution for delivering small payloads where speed is essential. Its latest demonstration is in delivering vital medical supplies.
Matternet is currently licensed to operate in Switzerland where its peer-to-peer logistics technology will be being used to transport blood and pathology samples between hospital facilities.
See it in action in this video:
While waiting for favourable regulatory environment in the US, Matternet has already been demonstrating the concept of delivering goods on demand. Using its previous Matternet 1 drones, which could carry up to 2..2 lbs (1 kilogram) over 12 miles, Swiss Post undertook trials in 2015 of delivering small packages to residents and businesses.
In a more ambitious proof-of-concept demonstration, Matternet partnered with Mercedes-Benz for a combined van and drone delivery service in which drones were guided by a beacon on a Mercedes-Benz to make precision landing on the roof of the van.
Now the Matternet Station, the third and final technology component of its service, can make on-demand aerial delivery more widely available. With a small footprint of approximately 2 square meters, the station can be installed at ground or rooftop locations to guide a Matternet M2 Drone to make a precise landing on it platform. After landing, the basestation itself automatically swaps its battery and payload, which means there is no need for someone to fo these tasks. The station is also equipped with software to manage drone traffic over the station
To send a package to another location a user simply scans it into the Matternet Station, and to retrieve a delivered package scans a QR code.
“With the Matternet Station, we’re introducing an extremely easy-to-use interface that enables true peer-to-peer drone delivery. For healthcare systems, an integrated Matternet network means that medical items can be delivered to any hospital facility within 30 minutes. This level of speed and predictability creates substantial opportunities for improved quality of care and operational savings.”
This is more convincing than most „delivery by drones“ ideas and it could take off – pun intended. What about an open source maker version? Too many regulations to overcome is my guess.
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