August 30, 2022
A2Z Drone Delivery LLC unveiled a new cargo drone and winch system it says provides a ready-to-fly, off-the-shelf commercial-delivery platform capable of competing with Google and Amazon.
The RDST drone octocopter is equipped with the company’s second-generation Rapid Delivery System (RDS2) winch, which lowers packages to the ground via tether so that the UAV does not need to land to complete deliveries.
The RDS2 also eliminates the need for specialty payload containers because it is capable of carrying any box up to 18 inches wide. At 22 pounds, RDS2’s payload capacity is the highest of any tethered-delivery system on the market, A2Z says, noting that the winch can be purchased as a standalone unit and attached to other delivery UAVs.
“Most drone delivery systems in deployment today require payloads to be packaged in special boxes, pouches or on-board payload compartments; the RDS2 is designed to meet what every shipper wants, using what every shipper has,” A2Z Founder and CEO Aaron Zhang said.
The RDST’s ability to conduct deliveries from altitude protects package recipients and others on the ground from spinning propellers, addresses the privacy concerns that accompany low-flying drones and reduces rotor noise, A2Z says.
Depending on package weight, the RDST can fly up to 9 miles round trip. Its radio range extends up to 18.6 miles, while optional 4G LTE connectivity can make its connectivity essentially unlimited.
The RDS2 winch is equipped with an auto-release mechanism that activates when the package reaches the ground, eliminating the need for a human recipient. It also has a hook attachment that can be used for package pickups of up to 11 pounds when a human is available.
“These capabilities, combined with the utmost payload flexibility and the heaviest payload capacity currently on the market, makes our RDS2 a strong investment for drone-service providers looking to rapidly scale commercial delivery applications,” Zhang added.
While the drone and winch systems are primarily designed for residential drone deliveries, they can also be put to work in other situations, including delivering medical supplies or life-saving equipment for search and rescue operations. The tethered Rapid Delivery System has also been used for intra-site transport of tools and samples in mining operations, shore-to-ship delivery of supplies and port documents, as well as placement and retrieval of ground sensors for industrial inspections.
“The RDS2 has completed over 2,000 test deliveries and is already deployed with six of our beta test partners, which have tested the platform in a diverse array of applications,” said CTO of A2Z drone delivery, Evan Hertafeld. “Consistency and reliability are the name of the game, and this testing has reinforced the effectiveness of our hardware.”
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