During this edition of ADW Hybrid, new entries, start-ups, and students got a chance to win a spot in the Showcase area. From all the entries, only five winners were chosen by the ADW content board. In this article, we highlight three winners and share their stories with you.
The idea came about in 2019 during the rise of EVTOL drones and electrification. While being interviewed about this topic, I realized the potential for long-range, point-to-point drone deliveries. The COVID-19 lockdowns also highlighted the demand for online shopping and the need for faster deliveries. NEX AERO wanted to create a reliable and efficient drone that could transport critical items like medicine and organs. ‘’After researching battery technology, I found that hydrogen fuel cells could provide the power and range needed for this type of drone. We assembled a team and partnered with the UK-based fuel cell manufacturer, Intelligent Energy. ‘’
They wanted to create a concept that was realistic and could be quickly brought to market while being safe and reliable. We focused on safety factors and created a design with no movable parts and the ability to counter any motor stop.
Our team spent months developing a detailed design model. Our plan is to bring a fully certified drone to market by 2025-2026. They also had an industrial designer make the design beautiful and functional. They are working on size, loading, unloading, and passenger seating. ‘’Our first product will be a logistic drone followed by a demand transfer drone. Both will use the same technology and learn from each other's lessons.’’
Our winning entry is focused on urban logistics, specifically the first and last-mile delivery chain. While the middle mile is optimized, the first and last mile in urban areas often suffers from inefficiencies and delays
Urban Ray wanted to optimize this part of the logistics network by developing two systems - a drone for deliveries and a ground station that automates the interaction with the drone, including battery swapping and package handling. The ground station also serves as a terrestrial user interface for customers and logistics providers, making it easy to access our aerial logistics network.