With the steady development of drone technology for developing countries continuing, a Sydney based firm as recently launched a commercial book delivery service.
Australian startup, Flirtey, has unleashed its flock of flying drones on the Sydney public and claims that “commercial drones are going to become as ubiquitous as aeroplanes”. They have partnered with text book rental service Zookal to deliver study materials to those who need them in a pinch. The service, which uses six-rotored flying drones called hexacopters, aims to reduce postage costs and aim to limit the problem of missed deliveries as users will be able to track the location of the drones using their mobile phones.
Flirtey co-founder, Matthew Sweeney, said, “Flirtey is the world’s first unmanned aerial vehicle delivery technology. We’re taking technology that was previously only available to the military and universities, democratising it and commercialising it so that anybody can order any goods or services and have them flown straight to their smartphone.”.
“Currently in Australia same-day delivery by post cost eight to 20 dollars,” Sweeney continues. “By Flirtey it will cost a fraction of that and the consumer won’t have to cover it because it will be included in the marketing budget of the companies that we partner with.”
Using a smartphone app, purchases made from Zookal are aubsequently flown directly to the customer’s phone rather than their address. The hexacopters are designed to be able to lose a rotor and battery but still be able to fly. Another safety feature of the Flirtey machine becomes apparent upon arrival – the hexacopter levitates above the location and slowly lowers the parcel to the customer, and when the parcel is pulled a little too hard, the parcel detaches leaving the Flirtey safe and intact.
In one of their many promotional videos, the founders of Flirtey state how the civil aviation authority in Australia was one of the first in the world to legalise commercial flights by unmanned aerial vehicles. By comparison, the USA isn’t due to do so until 2015. This gives the startup company the advantage of honing their technology over the next few years to try an establish a global market lead.