July 19, 2022
Pablo Air, a member of the Born2Global Center, has announced a partnership with South Korea’s 7-Eleven branch to open the first convenience store drone delivery station in Korea to advance the commercialization of drone delivery.
The drone delivery station primarily consists of a control tower and the drone’s vertical take-off and landing aerodrome (Helipad), which allows one-stop processing, from the taking of delivery orders to the completion of the delivery flight. Pablo Air’s drone delivery service is a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight in which the drone is controlled with a wGCS (Web-based Ground Control System) paired with a smart mobility integrated control system (PAMNet, Pablo Air Mobility Network) for safe and agile operation of the aircraft.
The company said customers can order convenience store items for drone delivery through the app Allivery (All+Delivery) and have their items sent to the delivery station in a rural resort town of Gapyeong, which is about 1 km away, or three minutes by drone. After an order is received, the items are moved by a winch connected to the drone station to the rooftop, where the helipad is located. Once the items have been loaded in the drone’s delivery box, the ground control system operator sends the drone on an autonomous flight to the delivery station. After completing QR authorization, the customer can safely take out their ordered items, and then the drone returns back to its starting point.
The drone, which measures 990 x 990 x 750 mm, has a maximum payload (PA-H3) of 5 kg and a maximum flight time of 25 minutes. For the pilot program, the drone flies at an average speed of 36 km/h (10 m/s), and since the delivery station is only 1 km from the convenience store, the drone can complete its delivery in about 150 seconds. Pablo Air said it plans to continue researching the payload and volume of the shipping box to further improve its drone delivery services.
“Seven-Eleven and Pablo Air are the first companies in Korea to provide complete A-to-Z services, from taking app orders to preparing products and completing deliveries,” said Kim Young-Joon, CEO of Pablo Air. “We will do our best to provide safe and effective delivery services.”
“The local community also seems receptive to the services because the Gapyeong area is a mountainous area with rivers and lakes, and if we can provide stable drone delivery services, it will benefit the surrounding commercial districts,” said a resident in the area, “We are looking forward to enjoying these safe and convenient services.”
In June, the Korean government promised to ease regulations and establish a legal basis for the drone delivery industry as part of its new industry regulation improvement plan. To facilitate these changes, Pablo Air said it would gather data related to the drone industry and provide it to the government, and that the current pilot project would act as a blueprint for the future drone industry.
In addition, the company is also conducting a drone delivery demonstration project in the U.S. In January, Pablo Air signed a business agreement with NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance) and set up an integrated control system at Griffiss International Airport in New York to conduct VLOS and BVLOS delivery demonstrations. Pablo Air said it expects to begin operating its drone delivery services in Arizona and New York in the U.S. after completing the demonstration projects.
For more details on Pablo Air, visit its website here.