While Amazon continues testing out its drone delivery service in North America, Israel-based Flytrex is already offering delivery drones and a 3G-based platform to send and receive small packages via a connected app. The company claims the Flytrex Sky, which was announced last week, is the first cloud-connected drone carrying an on-board 3G module designed to track the UAV and keep it jacked into the internet while in flight.
The Flytrex Sky platform logs all flights in an online profile accessible via the web and mobile apps. Theoretically, as long as the Sky has a 3G signal, its flying range is limited only by its dual battery, which provides approximately 35 minutes of flight time.
The Sky can be controlled via an installed RC transmitter and receiver system or GSM connection and also comes with a GoPro docking bay and is ready for first person view (FPV) flying and racing. Out of the box it can fly and connect to the Flytrex Messenger and Pilot apps available for iOS and Android devices. It's also capable of automatically returning to home, holding position in the air and autopilot.
As for deliveries, the Sky's frame is equipped with four hooks on each side and comes with two custom bands that can be used to attach a variety of small, lightweight parcels. Flytrex hasn't yet given out specific maximum weight specs, but says that battery efficiency is tied to payload.
Flytrex says pilots with no experience can fly the Sky using the Pilot app and its automated take-off, autopilot and landing features. It does not have built-in collision avoidance systems and isn't waterproof, so it requires a clear flight path with as little wind or rain as possible.
How the Sky is used will depend on the laws where you live. While you may be free to use the Flytrex system to start up your own delivery service in some locales, that's still not legal without a specific exemption from the FAA in the United States. It could legally be used for hobbyist or non-commercial deliveries, however.
The Flytrex Sky can be purchased directly from the company online. The retail price is listed at US$649, but as of this writing it shows up in the shopping cart for an introductory price of $549 plus shipping.
In the promotional video below, the drone is shown delivering basic items including a shirt and a sandwich.
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