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Posted on April 06, 2017

Delivery drone with drive-up-to-your-doorstep capability

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Don Shaw, CEO of Advanced Tactics Inc (AT), a research and rapid development company in Southern California, announced that AT has successfully completed their first aerial package delivery test with a flying drone that can land with a 5-pound package and safely drive up to the door with no propellers turning to deliver a package to the doorstep of a customer. It is believed this is the first successful test of its kind. This vehicle is called the Panther sUAS Air/Ground Robot. The Panther package delivery robot can uniquely drive like a car and fly like a helicopter while carrying payloads.
World's Most Mobile Package Delivery Robot
Ten years ago, Advanced Tactics Inc (AT) first began developing air/ground robot technology intended to aid U.S. military forces. Now, building on a family of patented core technologies, AT has created a revolutionary, commercially available Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) that is both ground- and air- mobile, suitable for extended surveillance and package delivery purposes for the commercial market. The combination of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) flight with off-road driving capabilities in a package delivery drone make the Autonomous AT Panther Air/Ground Robot unlike anything else previously seen.
Featuring off-road suspension, lifting capability of up to 15 lb payload, and autonomous waypoint navigation, the AT Panther Robot is expected to dramatically expand the operational scope of current commercially available drones. Modern cameras can be utilized with this robot for unique views from the air and ground. Robotic arms for package delivery have been tested on the AT Panther and other AT air/ground mobile robots. Specialized kits are currently being developed for testing purposes for first-person video packages (FPV), audio surveillance, ground and air obstacle avoidance, loudspeaker accessories and customer service. Accessories are easily attached to the vehicle (i.e. video screens and signature pads).
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The AT Panther lands safely away from obstacles before approaching customers as a ground vehicle for delivery. Propeller guards will be attached to prevent injury during customer interaction. The vehicle can also be operated directly by a customer service delivery team for quick turnaround of the delivery vehicle with possible video interaction with a live customer service agent. In urban areas, where traffic could slow traditional couriers, the AT Panther offers a safe delivery system that can completely bypass delays from congested road conditions.
The driving capability also offers the flexibility for the vehicle to easily access doorways, delivery ports, and loading bays (i.e. shipping and receiving centers).
Different from Any Other Drone on the Market
Today's commercial drone manufacturers have mostly focused their efforts towards developing flying-only robots. With AT's new product, operators can expect much greater operation times by employing the driving mode, and gain the ability to explore an area more quietly than a conventional flying-only UAS. Suited especially for missions in difficult-to-reach areas, yet needing quiet or extended observation, the Autonomous AT Panther Air/Ground Robot sUAS fills a niche role not yet realized in the commercial market. The FAA considers the AT Panther a small UAS (sUAS) since it is under 55 pounds in weight. As an sUAS the AT Panther will be Part 107 eligible. No waivers will be required for Class G airspace. It is battery powered and is capable of fully autonomous takeoff and landing.
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The new Autonomous AT Panther Air/Ground Robot sUAS is now in production for commercial sale.
Source and top image: Advanced Tacticts
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Energy Independent Electric Vehicles 2017 External Link on 27 - 28 Sep 2017 in TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands hosted by IDTechEx.