A2Z Delivery Drone Designed to Address Consumer Concerns

A2Z delivery droneA2Z Drone Delivery’s New UAV Solves Consumer Concerns with Freefall Delivery

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

A2Z Drone Delivery, LLC, the developer of a tethered freefall drone delivery mechanism, announced today the launch of its RDSX commercial delivery UAV. The RDSX was developed in collaboration with a leading global logistics provider to be able to deliver dual payloads per flight, each weighing up to two kilograms on a round trip of up to 18 kilometers, alternatively able to be configured with a single tether to expand its range to 30 kilometers. The RDSX integrates A2Z Drone Delivery’s tethered freefall Rapid Delivery System, able to quickly and safely deliver payloads from altitudes of up to 150 feet. By maintaining its altitude throughout the delivery, the RDSX keeps spinning rotors far from people and property, mitigating consumer concerns with drone deliveries such as the potential for property damage, intrusive rotor noise, and privacy concerns, all while enabling it to deliver into areas congested by trees, wires or other obstructions.

The controlled-freefall delivery method employed by the RDSX allows UAV service providers to reduce time-on-station to a minimum by delivering the package to the ground in seconds and eliminating the need for the drone to touch down. It also features safety measures to protect the package recipients on the ground as well as the onboard payload during flight, and the RDSX platform itself. Integrated safety features in the RDSX include an onboard parachute, emergency payload abandonment, passive payload lock, pre-flight weight check, payload status detection to monitor the payload throughout flight and delivery, rapid descent calculation, manual delivery control, and transverse tether winding. A2Z Drone Delivery’s freefall delivery technology has previously been utilized in residential drone delivery trials, the deployment and retrieval of ground sensors for energy exploration, and shore-to-ship port delivery.

The integrated A2Z Drone Delivery app combines manual control system operations with an onboard computer and sensor array to manage the package’s controlled-freefall and gentle stop before the ground. Upon delivery, the RDSX’s Kevlar® tether and auto-release mechanism releases the payload before being reeled back up for reuse.

“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, LLC. “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 delivery droneThe New A2Z Delivery Drone

The RDSX’s UAV flight platform comes equipped with a pair of cameras that allow pilots to navigate beyond visual line of sight. The system also features an independent downward-facing LiDAR sensing system that streams continuous data to the onboard firmware, controlling the payload’s rapid descent and allowing the pilot to visually monitor payloads through flight and delivery. Its quick-swap bucket-style batteries limit downtime between flights, rendering the RDSX capable of operating in diverse conditions such as temperatures ranging from -20 to 45 Celsius, in up to 95% humidity, and from elevations up to 4,800 feet. Additionally, the RDSX’s eight rotor arms, fitted with durable carbon fiber propellers, are able to fold away for easy transport. The RDSX is also equipped with a flight case, ground control station, payload delivery boxes, extendable radio signal range, an optional open-source flight controller, and an optional continuous-charging battery dock.

“Working hand-in-hand with a logistics provider gave our engineers invaluable insights into how our customers will interact with the drone platform and allowed us to design the RDSX from the bottom up for the unique demands of commercial UAV deliveries,” said Zhang. “Based on an extremely robust flight platform with hundreds of thousands of flight hours, the RDSX integrates our tethered freefall delivery mechanism to minimize time-on-station, reduce downtime and prioritize safety for the airframe, its payloads and the customers receiving packages.”

During the upcoming Commercial UAV Expo (September 7-9, 2021 in Las Vegas), A2Z Drone Delivery will be showcasing the new RDSX in its booth #306. Attendees are encouraged to contact the company in advance of the expo to arrange demonstrations.

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.