Innovative drone delivery concept DelivAir delivers right to your hands

Drone deliveries are in the weird position of seeming both totally futuristic and also old news. While most of us haven’t yet been the recipient of a drone delivery (although they are happening), it’s also been a whole four years since Amazon first showed off concept footage of its Prime Air drone service. A U.K.-based product design and development firm, Cambridge Consultants, is here to put a new spin on the idea, however, and it’s pretty darn cool.

Nicknamed DelivAir, the concept is to use drones not just to deliver packages to your address, but right into your hands, regardless of where you are in the world. To do that, it uses GPS to track your phone location, since this is a much more accurate way of determining where you’re likely to be at any given moment than simply heading to the address you’re registered at. Once it’s in range, it uses image recognition technology to identify the correct recipient. The person expecting a delivery then confirms their identity by way of a flashed coded pattern sent by the phone LED flash, after which the drone drops your package down via a winch.

deliverair drone delivery delivair from front

“The initial point of this project was to figure out a way to do drone deliveries while keeping the drone safely away from people,” engineer Sunil Gujral told Digital Trends. “Getting a powerful winch in a small package was one of the biggest challenges we faced, and required us to develop a bespoke winding mechanism.”

The concept may sound a little silly, but the idea of ultra-precise drone deliveries actually makes a whole lot of sense. One possible scenario in which this could be useful involves confidential deliveries. A more likely one might involve emergency deliveries — such as delivering an EpiPen or a defibrillator to a person in need — when they are away from home. “Particularly in cases where people’s lives are at risk after a natural disaster, drones such as this could come in very quickly and deliver individual packages of either food or medicine,” Gujral continued.

deliverair drone delivery delivair to hand

So when will such drone deliveries start taking place? Not for a while, sadly.

“Right now, this is a fully functional prototype,” Gujral said. “Everything you see in our demo video is possible and implemented. If you have a phone with the app and you’re in a locale where drone delivery is legally permitted, our drone can automatically fly to where your phone is and deliver a package. The caveat, of course, is that the number of places where you can fly a drone is still limited. That’s why we’re still describing this as a concept at this stage.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

7 drone crashes that will make you fly your bird more carefully

If you've been getting a bit reckless with your drone and suspect you may be heading toward a spectacular crash, then these messy drone mishaps should help you avoid such a calamity.
Smart Home

OK, Google, what can you do? Tips and tricks for the Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Emerging Tech

Don’t be fooled — this automated system sneakily manipulates video content

In the vein of “deep fakes," Recycle-GAN, a new system from Carnegie Mellon University, presents another case for how difficult it will be to distinguish fiction from reality in the future.
Emerging Tech

Moxi the ‘friendly’ hospital robot wants to help nurses, not replace them

Moxi is a "friendly" hospital robot from Texas-based Diligent Robotics. The wheel-based bot, which begins trials this week, aims to free nurses from routine tasks so they can spend more time with patients.
Emerging Tech

Giant wind farm in Morocco will help mine cryptocurrency, conserve energy

One of the windiest parts of Morocco is set to get a $2 billion wind farm power plant, which could help power eco-friendly cryptocurrency mining in a more environmentally friendly way.
Emerging Tech

How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super-simple breakdown

How do 3D printers work, exactly? If you ever wondered how these magical machines create 3D objects in a matter of hours, then look no further than this dead-simple breakdown of the four most common printing technologies.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Robots are going to steal 75 million jobs by 2025 — but there’s no need to panic

According to the World Economic Forum, robots and A.I. will take 75 million jobs from hardworking humans by 2025. That's the bad news. The good news is that they will create far more jobs than that.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Emerging Tech

An A.I. is designing retro video games — and they’re surprisingly good

Researchers from Georgia Tech have demonstrated how artificial intelligence can be used to create brand-new video games after being shown hours of classic 8-bit gaming action for inspiration.
Smart Home

Amazon might open 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores by 2021

According to new reporting by Bloomburg, anonymous sources within Amazon say that CEO Jeff Bezos is considering opening up to 3,000 of the company's cashier-less, experimental Amazon Go stores by 2021.
Emerging Tech

Wormlike motion sculptures show how athletes move in 3D

Researchers at MIT have developed a system that offers athletes a unique way to visualize their bodies in motion. An algorithm scans 2D videos of a person in motion, and generates data points that can be 3D-printed into "motion sculptures."