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A2Z Drone Delivery Launches 2nd Generation Delivery Drone

A2Z RDST 400x275

August 8, 2022

A2Z Drone Delivery, which is developing commercial drone delivery systems, has announced its second generation Rapid Delivery System (RDS). The RDS2 automated delivery winch eliminates the need for specialty cargo boxes, and can deliver any payload up to 22 lbs. (10 kg), which the company said is the highest payload capacity delivery winch on the market.

The company said it is also rolling out a new integrated cargo drone, the RDST, offering service providers an off-the-shelf delivery system for last-mile deliveries. While the RDST features an integrated RDS2, the standalone Rapid Delivery System can also be installed on several popular enterprise delivery unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

A2Z Drone Delivery said with the release of the new systems, it is expanding its lineup of drone delivery hardware to focus on its core mission of creating systems that address consumer-protection concerns with the growth of residential drone deliveries. By conducting deliveries from altitude, the company said its solutions protect recipients from spinning UAV propellers, while mitigating privacy concerns of low-flying drones and abating intrusive rotor noise.

“Most drone delivery systems in deployment today require payloads to be packaged in special boxes, pouches or on-board payload compartments; the RDS2 is designed to meet what every shipper wants, using what every shipper has,” said Aaron Zhang, founder and CEO of A2Z Drone Delivery. “The RDS2 can auto-release the shipper’s own boxes, removing the need for a recipient on the ground to meet the drone, and retrieve packages without landing. These capabilities, combined with the utmost payload flexibility and the heaviest payload capacity currently on the market, makes our RDS2 a strong investment for drone service providers looking to rapidly scale commercial delivery applications.”

With a compact design, the RDS2 contains the redundant safety mechanisms of its predecessor, including a payload monitoring system, passive payload lock, manual or automatic tether controls, and tether abandonment should it become inadvertently entangled. New features include:

  • A heavy-duty drive motor that enables the RDS2 to deliver payloads up to 22 lbs.;
  • The ability to work with any off-the-shelf boxes, which lets it fit into any existing logistics network;
  • Payload auto-release, a mechanism that can deposit any box without the need for a human receiver;
  • Payload pickup, which allows the system to retrieve payloads up to 5 kg while maintaining a safe hover;
  • Low profile and easy-to-integrate form factor, which can be tucked into the belly of any heavy-lift drone and is less than 10 cm tall, leaving headroom for cargo;
  • Upgraded braided Kevlar tether that extends maintenance cycles up to 800 deliveries between tether replacements;
  • An optional general-purpose payload hook, which can delivery or pick up everything from bags to buckets;
  • A2Z Assistant desktop application for maintenance, system configuration and more software features.

RDST box 800px

By using an integrated winch, the RDST can deliver boxes from altitude, reducing noise and providing a safer experience for customers retrieving packages.

The new RDST integrated cargo drone employs a stable and redundant octocopter configuration paired with the RDS2 to offer drone service providers a ready-to-fly delivery system, A2Z Drone Delivery said. While the operational range of the platform depends on payload specifics, the RDST can extend operations up to a nine-mile round trip from a main distribution center, the company said. It is designed to satisfy the entire range of payloads for modern drone operators, and is rated for safe flights with payloads up to 11 pounds (5 kg). Standing 29 inches tall, the RDST and its rotors can easily collapse for transport in a provided flight case. Additional features include:

  • A cargo bay that can accept packages up to 18 by 18 by 14 inches (45 by 45 by 35 cm);
  • An upgraded ground control station (A2Z QGC), featuring a UI that integrates RDS2 commands and telemetry with open-source Q Ground Control mission planning software to conduct pre-planned automated delivery missions without needing to land.
  • Extended radio range, up to 30 km transmission range with optional 4G LTE connectivity
  • Replaceable parts for low-fuss maintenance and minimal operational cost per mile;
  • Onboard lidar with relative AGL height readings, providing precision delivery and landing capabilities;
  • Open-source flight control software, which can be integrated with third-party hardware and software.

The company said that in addition to residential drone delivery applications, the RDS2 and RDST are ideal for delivering medical supplies or life-saving equipment for search and rescue operations. Customers have also used the RDS for intra-site transport of tools in mining operations, shore-to-ship delivery of urgent supplies and port documents, as well as the placement and retrieval of ground sensors for industrial inspections.

“The RDS2 has completed over 2,000 test deliveries and is already deployed with six of ou r beta test partners that have tested the platform in a diverse array of applications,” said Evan Hertafeld, CTO of A2Z Drone Delivery. “Consistency and reliability are the name of the game and this testing has reinforced the effectiveness of our hardware. Responding to partner feedback, we also sought to streamline maintenance with our new A2Z Assistant software and a longer-lasting tether to reduce downtime.”

For more details on the new systems, visit the A2Z Drone Delivery website here.

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