Drone Evolution has developed SafeFlight which is resistant to small arm fire and uses multiple navigation systems to enable commercial and military deliveries reach their destinations.
As well as having a resistent shell, SafeFlight protects delivery drones from being jammed. It can also switch between a range of navigational systems should the system come under attack.
Co-Founder and Co-Director Toby Townrow explained: “We have developed this concept to protect delivery drones from being brought down by someone with a laptop and a coat hanger or with a BB gun or laser, so that deliveries get to where they need to go.”
“When we were looking at the concept, it was really thinking about the market for drones. It is very much about counter UAVs and stopping drones and jamming them or using nets to bring them down.”
Drone uses multiple navigational systems
SafeFlight was developed as a drone that couldn’t be jammed or brought down with nets. It has different navigational systems such as GPS and ONS built in and can also use mobile phone systems. It can switch between these systems if it comes under attack.
Townrow continued: “The shell is made of titanium, so small arms fire and lasers will just bounce off it. You are protecting your deliveries and making sure your delivery systems are safe. It’s got huge benefits, not just for the end user, but also for the likes Amazon, DHL UPS and from a military perspective as well, that your stuff gets to where it need to go and the whole thing has proper resilience.”
“It would only take one of those to land on the M4 motorway and then the whole thing is out of the question. If you are the CAA, you are probably going to want these mitigation systems built in, certainly some reassurance, that these things can’t be brought down so easily.”
Mitigation of risks
Townrow said that there would have to be restrictions on who could use or purchase drones to stop them being used for deliveries into prisons or for terrorist activities. “We are going to have to be very clever around who is allowed to buy it. It’s like any technology, it can be used in wrong ways. I know prisons, for example, are taking other mitigating steps such using netting above the prison line to stop drone deliveries. It’s really understanding the mitigation and the risk, therefore, as well.”
“Our ethos is very much around ‘do no harm’ - that’s one of our values so, absolutely, we want to make sure that happens. I think the trick is going to be around licensing to make sure that only licensed authorities will be able to buy these in the first place.”