Affordable cargo drone now available after testing in 3 countries

Want this affordable, locally operable and repairable cargo drone? Flyings Labs are using this drone in Nepal, Fiji and the Dominican Republic to deliver medicines, patient samples and more. Like any drone, there are trade-offs, of course. It's a simple solution, nothing fancy, no hype, just does what it needs to do. To learn more and get in touch, please follow this link.

Please note that we are a not-for-profit organization (WeRobotics). Our focus is on knowledge transfer, technology transfer, and opportunity transfer to local experts in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As such, we are technology agnostic and obviously do not develop cargo drone solutions to make a profit. In fact, the only reason we started re-purposing the M600 into a cargo drone in 2017 was because there were no affordable alternatives that were as mature, widely used and reliable as the M600. This still seems to be the case today.

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 12, 2019 at 8:51am

I like your AprilTag (or whatever those are) landing pad. Did you have those made?

Comment by Patrick Meier on September 12, 2019 at 8:56am

Thanks Chris, they're simple QR codes for precision landing on the rooftops of clinics and hospitals. They're made locally using locally available materials. In some cases, for example, Flying Labs have simply painted the code on the rooftops of clinics and hospitals.

Comment by d j on September 12, 2019 at 1:20pm

"they're simple QR codes for precision landing on the rooftops

QR code graphics has nothing to do with any precision or precision landing

Printed QR code on white background serves as white target only and for marketing purposes.

Placing any another white target offers the same precision in landing.

BTW

RTK GPS offers higher precision and is standard in drone industry today.

So stationary, fixed point geolocation should serve locally as offset transmitter for precision RTK GPS


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 12, 2019 at 1:38pm

I'm pretty sure those are not QR codes -- they're more likely AprilTags or one of the below markers, which don't just give a unique ID but also a vector normal, which is used for precision landing. We use AprilTags ourselves, which are very easy for cameras and CV to spot from a distance

Comment by Patrick Meier on September 12, 2019 at 2:09pm

Thanks Chris, yup you're 100% correct -- I'm clearly not the engineer on the team ; )

Comment by d j on September 13, 2019 at 2:49am

thank you

AprilTags resemble QR codes and serve as data, identification remote tags

Concept is under permanent development to add new features.

For precision landing I would suggest triangulation technique, made of 3 AprilTags, identified in parallel.

here are useful links

http://people.csail.mit.edu/kaess/apriltags/

"

What are AprilTags?

AprilTags are 2D barcodes developed for robotics applications by Ed Olson.

http://www.blisstonia.com/eolson/

https://docs.nvidia.com/isaac/isaac/packages/perception/doc/aprilta...

https://github.com/AprilRobotics/apriltag-generation

https://github.com/AprilRobotics/apriltag

https://github.com/AprilRobotics/apriltag-imgs

https://github.com/AprilRobotics/apriltag

https://april.eecs.umich.edu/software/apriltag

Comment by Thomas Butler on September 17, 2019 at 5:05am

Perhaps go back to the drawing board and re-design so there is no need for "repairable". The days of fragile "drones" that smash to smithereens in a crash are over. Those antennas do NOT need to be on sticks when the electronics nearby are properly integrated; i.e., RF shielding to eliminate EMI. What happens when that copter filps? Ever see a GPS bomb with the GPS antenna on a stick? And why would a landing target be needed? Don't the GPS unit(s) provide enough location information?

Comment by Darrell Burkey on September 17, 2019 at 10:25am

Great work. Congratulations! 

Comment by Darrell Burkey on September 17, 2019 at 10:27am

@Thomas Butler - Standard GPS is only accurate to about 5 meters. Machine vision with a target as done here is definitely a good solution. 

Comment by jlcortex on September 20, 2019 at 1:09pm

Don't believe your engineers, engineers always want to do cool things like precision landing, I honestly don't think the M600 has any practical utility in that application. range of 15km? Really? And if it were true How many medical centers do you have within 15 km of a logistics center?

with $5000 you can build a lot of foam airplanes with a suitable range for this application.

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