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Frequently Asked Questions

We are building a drone system that does not require any infrastructure, allowing us to implement this in remote areas, bringing down delivery times from hours to minutes. Drone delivery is something that has been worked on for a long time, but governments have only recently allowed drone systems to operate commercially. What sets us apart is that we're building a service for those who are not large enough to do business with the giants in the space. Instead of building warehouses and large centers, we're focused on only bringing what is necessary - the drone itself, so that anyone can use delivery, even those in the most remote areas.

Created by Passionate teenagers, The Open Drone is disrupting last minute delivery in urban and rural areas. Our Drones is designed to be the fastest and safest system ever.

Select one of the following topics below to learn more.

Drone

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Why Drone?

1. Infrastructure:
Since drones can fly, and are relatively small, they do not need roads or runways to take off (VTOL).
2. Speed:
Drones are much faster. Zipline, for example, reduced the speed of blood delivery in Rwanda from 3 hours to a mere 15 minutes! Safety: Drones can be equipped with multiple safety system, and most importantly, unlike a human-operated vehicle, even if a drone fails, there is no loss of life.
3. Emergency situations:
drones provide a simpler, contactless alternative. Although drones have these great advantages, a major disadvantage is cost, as it gets increasingly expensive to create drones for a delivery network. This is where our approach differs from others. Instead of creating a product, we're creating an open-source framework to allow makerspaces and fablabs to create these drones and source them to distribution center, in a similar fashion to the M-19 Initiative. By working closely with these makerspaces, we can work towards building distribution centers, where drones can be supplied and used in a network to intelligently deliver medical supplies where they're most needed

VTOL

VTOL stands for Vertical Take-Off and Landing, and it is what allows our drone to take off from almost anywhere, allowing it to be installed even in a small store, something no other delivery drone can do. Tail-sitter describes the type of VTOL model we’re using. A tail-sitter drone takes off while standing vertically, and transitions into horizontal flight in the air. We chose this model due to its simplicity and lack of moving parts. BWB stands for Blended Wing Body, and it is a very recent technology that is currently being tested for commercial flight. It is highly aerodynamic and allows our drone to greatly increase its range.

Data Science

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What! data science?

Our project is mainly split into two applications of data science: Predictive modeling and Machine learning

Predictive modeling:
We will use various forms of publically available data, such as satellite images, population density data and any government data about hospital locationsm etc to determine which locations we should focus our efforts towards. Based on a heatmap of these locations, and the nearby terrain, we can determine what can be used to store and launch the drones. Since they are VTOL drones, the infrastrucutre required would be minimal, limited to only storage space and charging stations.

Machine learning:
To fly the drones effectively, we would need an effective machine learning neural network for route selection to minimize population risk hazards, and avoid obstacles and restricted areas. Although a large part of the system would be identical for all drones, allowing them to learn faster, we would need to have some differences based on locality, allowing drones to better adapt to the local environment. This would also become especially important for maintaining airspace regulations, as those can vary dramatically.

How we Collect Data?

To help with demographics, we are looking to use publically available data, from satellite images, government data, and any other local sources. Based on these criteria, we can further refine data points through surveys at targeted locations to gain a more qualitative understanding of the locality from the locals themselves. These datapoints, along with qualitative points from market consultants would help us figure out where we need to deliver supplies and what our distribution center should be.

We have been looking at using satellite images from OSMnx, and mapping algorithms for navigational use. Since we are looking at delivering to multipe locations, these maps allow us to deliver supplies without a 'blind' drop, which helps us ensure they land in an accessible location. The maps are updated regularly by Microsoft. Despite that, we will also add our own sensors to add another level of accuracy, accounting for potential changes after the terrain was mapped. Using such mapping software for drone flight would be a potentially novel application of data science that can make a global drone fleet a more feasible task.

Our Ethical Practices.

Most importantly, we are not going to collect any personal data. We will be looking at demographics and statistics, but nothing will be collected on the individual level.

Moreover, since most of our data is publically available, there are no ethics issues for collection or security.

Finally, we will guarantee safe and secure storage of any consumer data we have collected and will be completely transparent on our website about the uses of said data

Mission

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Our Mission

We are building a drone system that does not require any infrastructure, allowing us to implement this in remote areas, bringing down delivery times from hours to minutes. Drone delivery is something that has been worked on for a long time, but governments have only recently allowed drone systems to operate commercially. What sets us apart is that we're building a service for those who are not large enough to do business with the giants in the space. Instead of building warehouses and large centers, we're focused on only bringing what is necessary - the drone itself, so that anyone can use delivery, even those in the most remote areas.

Open Source

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Why Open Source?

Although we're going up against multimillion dollar companies, our team has a global perspective in mind. The likes of Amazon and Google have been spending years developing their drone delivery service, and it will take some years until they have a drone fleet delivering supplies to all parts of the United Stated. But what about the rest of the world. It would easily be decades before such technology comes into the hands of even relatively prominent places like India.

Coming from various parts of the world, our design team is building a product with a global purpose from the very beginning. By creating an open source hardware, we're allowing places like India to begin their own drone delivery services not in decades, not in a couple of years, but right now. This kind of model simply doesn't seem like a reasonable option for tech giants with the manpower, but this allows us to reach all parts of the world at once

This isn't just idealistic thinking though. There are incredible successes that came about from open-source, like Linux and Arduino, which have completely shaped their respecive industries. Even less publicized projects, such as the M19 initiative and Dev4X have intellegently used open source hardware to create projects in months which would normally take a well-funded team years to complete. Right now, millions of people are looking for ways to help out in these trying times. We're part of that movement, and we want to use that movement.

Algorithm

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Algoritm Accuracy

For the navigation system, we plan to use a CD/CI Machine learning algorithm, and will look at building upon an existing drone control model to avoid reinventing the wheel. We will be testing and training the program extensively in India, as we have easy access to makerspaces and resources over there. As we continue running our drones, the algorithm will only get more accurate and safer, as they will be constantly running.

Similarly, we will constantly update our data on the demographics as soon as updated information comes out, and look at sending out new surveys on an annual basis.

How can I share feedback?

We welcome comments and questions about the company, TBM technology, and our projects. Please email communityfeedback@theopendrone.com to share your feedback.