Imagine this scenario: You’re at a family picnic in a park but you’ve gone to play soccer a little way off. Thirsty, you ask one of the others to send you a drink. And then, a drone with the cold drink attached arrives in the exact spot you’re standing.
Flytrex— an Israeli maker of drone technology for the consumer market – is making this scenario a reality with its Flytrex Sky, claimed to be the world’s first delivery drone that operates over the cloud.
Yariv Bash, co-founder of Flytrex, says it won’t be long before we start seeing drinks, sandwiches, car keys and even medicine bottles flying short distances overhead.
Drones are all the rage now among hobbyists and early tech adopters. Anyone who has gone to Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv recently can attest to the buzz of drones flying to and fro, and Flytrex Sky deliveries could become a regular part of the park experience.
While Amazon and other big companies continue to experiment with the possibilities of delivery drones, Bash says “technology-wise, Flytrex can support small deliveries.”
Sky, with its 3G connectivity, can carry up to 1 kilogram, has a range of up to 10 kilometers and can fly nonstop for 32 minutes. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Bash tells ISRAEL21c that the company is in talks with African entrepreneurs who would like to use the personal drones to deliver medicines from a pharmacy in an urban center to rural villages. Bash notes that the continent’s lack of overhead phone lines and its excellent cell coverage make it the right place for this revolutionary plan to be implemented.
“It’s still an idea in progress,” says Bash, “but the process for it to happen is underway.”
In the meantime, it’s all about the fun of flying cola, sandwiches and beer. Obviously, following a country’s regulations is important when launching a drone. Bash says that in Israel, drone operators need to be able to see their flying contraption at all times.
In early August, Flytrex released its own Messenger app that lets operators use their Sky drone to perform short-range deliveries of small parcels to friends and family.
“Let’s say you forgot your keys at home, you can mark your location on the map and send your friend a notification,” Bash tells ISRAEL21c about another useful possibility for his drone.
Bash, who is also a co-founder of SpaceIL — the non-profit Israeli space project hoping to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon — says the Sky platform has “ground-breaking collaborative piloting technology” that allows both sender and recipient to control the drone along a route, ensuring the drone never loses control. The sender can plot the initial course and the recipient can direct the drone to land wherever she is standing.
This technology that ensures the drone never loses control is crucial. From experience, I can attest that a wayward drone (even a small one) hurts when it gets stuck in your hair.
Knowing that the Flytrex Sky has two pilots (sender and recipient), I hope my future strolls through Tel Aviv’s biggest park will afford me sights of magical picnics replete with food items flying out of the picnic basket and going for short joyrides before returning to be eaten. And not too close an encounter with a can of soda instead.