DronesLast-mile deliveryModern ShipperNewsRecent NewsTechnology

Skycart ups ante with 4-drop delivery drone

Announcement comes less than month after Wingcopter said its drone could make 3 separate deliveries

Less than a month after Wingcopter introduced the world’s first triple-drop capable drone delivery system, San Francisco-area Skycart has gone a step further, announcing a drone capable of making four deliveries in a single flight.

The Skycart Nimbus can deliver by line, parachute or ground delivery. It has self-balancing technology that ensures the drone stays stable through flight as deliveries are made.

“The Skycart Nimbus is crucial to saving lives because it bridges communities to major hospitals that can provide medical supplies to their smaller facilities over an aerial super highway, especially where roads present challenges,” Simon Yuen, chief executive and technical officer for Skycart, said in a statement. “Every minute and every second count toward a patient’s survivability for emergency medical supplies. Our drones also eliminate expired drugs and vaccines, stock-outs and spoilage because these crucial medical items can be delivered quickly and easily, without the need to store larger amounts on hand.”

The Nimbus can be utilized in a number of delivery applications, including packages and medications. According to the company, the drone will reduce air traffic and fleet maintenance by 75% due to the use of a single drone to conduct the work of four. It will also reduce the cost of personnel by 52.5% and overall delivery costs by 30%.

The Skycart Cumulus Cloud controls the drone, which flies to designated locations using GPS coordinates. The drone features a “pod” designed to reduce air resistance and allow for the safe transport of up to four packages sized 8 inches by 8 inches by 10 inches. Total payload capacity is 33 pounds. It has a built-in rack for package storage and is powered by rechargeable batteries. It has a 100-mile range at a top speed of 80 miles per hour.

The race to maximize drone efficiency is on, even as most companies are still trying to successfully complete trials of single delivery drones. Germany-based Wingcopter announced at the end of April its Wingcopter 198, all-electric, vertical-takeoff-and-landing, fixed-wing drone can make three deliveries per flight. The drone is capable of delivering three small packages, two medium-sized packages or one large package, according to the company. The Wingcopter operation management system can operate up to 10 drones at a time, enabling one logistics commander to manage up to 30 different packages.

The Wingcopter 198 carries two smart batteries that can maximize the drone’s time in the air and allow for quick swaps on the ground. Depending on the weight of the shipment, drones can fly up to 59 miles within an hour and fully charge within 90 minutes.

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight, managing editor, Modern Shipper

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at bstraight@freightwaves.com.

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