Antigua: In a partnership with the UN Ops, Antigua Computer Technology (ACT), and the government of Antigua, Drone Delivery Systems successfully performed drone deliveries to a secure smart mailbox, called AirBox Home.
Additionally, Drone Delivery Systems performed a 2.1 mile beyond line of sight (BVLOS) flight, delivering one of the most innovative defibrillators in the world made by HeartHero from Colorado. Co-founder of Drone Delivery Systems, Brandon Pargoe, stated that the “accomplishment of these tests were not planned overnight.” Pargoe shared that the company collaborated not only with the government of Antigua, but also with many other partnering companies and authorities to make these tests a reality.
AirBox Technology is a patented product invented by Mr. Pargoe to provide remote secure delivery access points to anyone in the world. Its core product, the AirBox Home, includes a proprietary Internet of Things (IOT) board capable of communicating with both service providers and its recipients. As an added bonus, the AirBox Home is not only a secure ground delivery access point, but it also communicates with and accepts deliveries made via drone. Drone Delivery Systems in partnership with various other drone companies has scaled its DroneX flagship platforms to incorporate their delivery hardware and software payloads making such drones suitable for deliveries onto its AirBox Home units.
Dr. Jeremy Tucker, Co-Founder of Drone Delivery Systems and emergency physician, explains that secured medical deliveries are important to prevent theft of controlled substances or exposure to biohazards. Andrew Doumith, Business Development Manager at ACT adds that the AirBox Home provides the means for the people of Antigua to receive secured deliveries in a timely manner, while enabling e-commerce to flourish on the island.
The team at Drone Delivery Systems in partnership with Antigua’s airport and aviation authorities established a safe and secured plan to perform such tests. Not only were the tests flights conducted within a mile from Antigua’s major airport, VC Bird International Airport, but the team operated in some of the most difficult weather and environmental conditions that included flights in nearly 20 kts wind gusts from the southeast of the island. “The operating flight conditions were highly considered and studied during our test planning….” explained Pargoe.
The team had to adjust its intended BVLOS flight, of its 62 lbs. all-up-weight aircraft, to a nearby field in front one of the island’s most visited grocery stores, Epicurean Fine Foods & Pharmacy, due to the location of a cell tower. The flight plan adjustment increased the range of the flight from its original one mile, to a 2.1 mile long flight, which was successfully performed autonomously. The operation included a number of safety precautionary measurements including multiple points of electrical power as well as command and control redundancies during flight, while performing the majority of its autonomous mission mostly away from people. “This is just phase 1…” explained Pargoe.
The team at Drone Delivery Systems, along with other technology and drone companies, plan to continue further phase tests later in the year, which will include longer BVLOS flights, and ultimately flights between Antigua and Barbuda islands using fixed wing vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms.
“The good news for the people of Antigua is that they don’t have to wait for drone regulatory approvals to begin to receive their orders, as the AirBox Home is a product ready for production and integration today with ground transportation vehicles…” Pargoe said. “It (the AirBox Home) opens an ecosystem, where other companies and means of technology can gather around, enabling both service providers and recipients to have full remote authority of their deliveries.
Project Partners, include: HeartHero, Aero Systems West (ASW), Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), FlytBase, Watts Innovations, Antigua Computer Technology (ACT), Wilstair, LLC, UN Ops, MeanStride Technology, and AVCOM of Virginia.