Flower delivery company experimenting with drones
A Detroit-based flower delivery company is working on a way to deliver flowers using areal drones.
FlowerDeliveryExpress.com has been experimenting with flower delivery by drone, said CEO Wesley Berry.
“Drones are an emerging technology that will provide an economically viable shipping option for our customers,” said Berry in a phone interview.
The company produced a video of what a drone flower delivery service might look like on their YouTube page. Berry said the company “has a lot left to learn” regarding building a viable drone delivery program.
The premise of the program would involve drones using a GPS location to fly from a depot, make the delivery and return.
Berry admitted there are plenty of obstacles still left to overcome. One problem — the cold weather in Michigan during the test flight reduced the battery life of the drone.
“We are doing this so we can learn how to do it,” he said.
Another problem is how allow the drone to navigate trees and power lines. “You have to have a clear flight path,” Berry said. “But my car parks itself so why can’t a drone?”
The online delivery company faces innumerable regulatory and logistical hurdles before the idea can take off. The Federal Aviation Administration will have to devise safety rules for unmanned aircraft, but there’s little prospect of that happening anytime soon.
The company is also experimenting with other ways to deliver flowers including using trucks carrying pre-made bouquets for rapid delivery.
Berry said that was among “other guarded secret methods,” the company is looking at.
To explore these ideas more, the company is launching a consumer beta program. Consumers can sign up to be test homes for different delivery methods.
“Technology is ever-changing, and we’re having a lot of fun experimenting with alternative flower delivery methods, such as our successful flowers by drone delivery,” said Berry.
FlowerDeliveryExpress.com is one of several companies that are experimenting with delivery drones. Amazon announced in December that they are working on a way to use drones to deliver items to customers.
Domino’s posted video of the “DomiCopter” delivering two pizzas in the United Kingdom earlier this year. In June, the Burrito Bomber, the creation of a couple of engineers from Yelp, demoed its ability to fly that tasty treat to your doorstep as well.
And in Australia, Zookal, a textbook company, is already using drones for deliveries.