If you thought the idea of delivery drones was all up in the air, you'd be wrong; they're right down here on the ground too – or at least they will be, if one young designer gets his way. Herald the arrival of the futuristic-looking delivery unicycle, bringing all kinds of packages to your door at any time of the day!
It's called the Transwheel drone, an autonomous, one-wheeled delivery concept that resembles something out of Star Wars. But this is not space age technology, and the devices would balance using existing technologies such as that used in Segway people transporters, with rotating gyroscopes to keep them from toppling over.
Transwheel is a concept created by Kobi Shikar as part of his final project at Shenkar College, Israel. Shikar, who has been studying engineering and design, claims that it could even take over deliveries from large vehicles such as trucks, and be much better for the environment because of a reduction in carbon emissions. The Transwheel drones are designed to work together, so for big loads, a number of them link together to carry them.
Up to now, much of the talk concerning drones has been centred on retail giant Amazon’s plans to have pilotless airborne craft deliver small packages to customers in certain areas, and within 30 minutes of placing an order. But while the company conducts tests of its specially designed aircraft, questions remain about how viable it will be compared to traditional order fulfilment and deliveries.
Shikar sees his Transwheel concept as revolutionising package deliveries, providing fulfilment companies with 24/7 services using one or more of the drones, each of which is designed with electric arms and has on-board GPS so they can navigate streets and locate their destination address.
While these fleets of proposed delivery drones certainly won't do away with international parcel services, at a time of soaring cross-border trade facilitated by the rapid rise of ecommerce, they may one day provide another delivery option for online shoppers. Plus, they may well be a far more welcome alternative than having the skies of major world cities clogged with Amazon’s tiny craft, and far more safe and secure too.