Sounding like the clawing and clicking sounds of cicadas in select early summers, an Amazon truck or possibly even an airship base may soon be launching a fleet of drones to manage the last 1000 feet (or up to 15 miles by some accounts) of a delivery directly to your door and to those of your neighbors. Wait a second, did I say door?
Any household seeking to live life in the second quarter century will need to have a pre-specified location for a delivery drone to drop off a package. Expect ‘heavy lifting’ drones to deliver packages of up to 5 lbs- this size package makes up 86% of Amazon’s deliveries.
Specifying a drone delivery drop spot is one of security, safety, and access. But also an expression of your personality and creativity. Here’s some things to consider:
What size should my drone delivery drop off pad be?
Two exemplary drones that can carry up to 5 lbs for an extended amount of time, the Freefly ALTA UAV and the DJI S900 have footprints of roughly 25 inches, and a wingspan of double that (50 inches). If we are to assume a drone would need double the wingspan for a successful landing (think basketball in a hoop just twice it’s size) a landing pad may need to be 100″ in diameter, or more.
If you want to build up edges around the main landing pad, do so, but know that the drone won’t put itself in danger. Building a silo for descent would likely be a no-no! A low wall, or sitting bench around parts of the landing space may be a good alternative.
Creativity, Personality and Style
Because your package is all that will likely ever touch the ground, the landing area itself can be any dry, easy to walk on material, or even grass or sand – it’s your package, do as you please!
As long as the drop off pad itself is solid then we can be as creative as we like!
Let’s borrow from some existing round gardens and medallions for some ideas- scroll below!
Safety and Drone Access
Nothing shouts of extreme delivery costs like a broken drone in someone’s driveway.
Likely there will be an approval process for your delivery pad. Here are some things that your location choice should steer clear of:
- Power and Phone Lines
- Nearby and overhanging trees
- Extended overhanging roofs (Sorry Frank Lloyd Wright!)
- Dangerous Pets and/or their chains/ropes
- Driveways (cars) and busy sidewalks (people and bicycles)
- Tall Grasses that can fall over
- Nearby Airports
- Generally nothing that blocks access to the drop from the sky
Security and Human Access
Every December the news is ripe with stories of thieves tracking behind UPS and FedEx trucks, and snatching packages from homes with front steps that are slightly too visible.
What happens when thieving drones start following Amazon Drones in order to pick up packages they drop?
Plan ahead and stay one step – strategically place your landing pad. No longer should you have to expect a package to arrive at your front door. Place your landing pad in your back yard, within a fenced in area, on the top of a second floor patio, on your roof- anywhere package snatchers don’t have ready access.
Want to go on the offensive against the eventual drone package snatcher? Consider a trap door, an instant package retrieval system, or even a locking cover that snaps shut after a delivery.
In all seriousness, drone delivery will be here before you know it. It’s a prime example of the approaching tsunami that is the Internet of Things. (FYI, we design and deploy IoT gadgets.)
Stay ahead of your neighbors, and make them feel like they live in the 19th century, create your drone delivery pad today and be ready for tomorrow’s deliveries from the sky.