Introduction: How to Setup Your Own Setup Drone Delivery System
Drones have actually been made use of for delivery long before Amazon.com introduced its Prime Air service. Founded in 2011, Zipline, a US-based business concentrated on clinical drone shipments ended up being the leader in long-distance drone delivery, with warehouse in Rwanda and also Ghana. With a rapid growth since then, Zipline now supplies 65% of blood examples in Rwanda, particularly due to the fact that the country does not have ideal roadway connection.
Companies like Zipline are spending greatly not just in much better drone equipment however also in remote software application, so they can smartly & centrally handle a big fleet of drones.
If you are someone who is looking to quickly validate a delivery idea then FlytNow Pro is a good starting point. As more requirements get identified, customers can then migrate to FlytNow Enterprise for Drone Delivery, which offers an end-to-end software suite with advanced capabilities and priority support.
Step 1: Getting Started With Drone Software for Drone Delivery Setup
Sign up to FlytNow account from here: https://my.flytbase.com/accounts/signup/?next=https://app.flytnow.com
Open your email and verify it before you can access the dashboard. Login to your account using your credentials.
On the dashboard, you can add drones, create a flight mission, set up a pre-flight checklist, and define a geofence.
In the above screenshot, We have already added our drones and two of them are online. In your case, you have to add the drones. Follow our getting started guide to add your DJI drones. Do not have a drone? Try FlytNow Pro with Virtual Drone. Follow Step 2
Step 2: (Optional) Adding a Virtual Drone.
Your free trial account supports up to five drones. In case you don’t have a drone, you can also add a virtual drone, you can add one virtual drone. For a virtual drone, you need to set up your FlytBase cloud APIs. Please follow this guide.
Once granted access to the cloud, you can use your virtual drone’s vehicle ID and token to add it to the FlytNow dashboard.
Step 3: Creating a Mission Plan
A mission plan lets you add a route for your drone. Considering you are testing a medical delivery system, you use the mission plan to define routes to all the medical centers you want to make deliveries.
To add a mission plan, click on Mission -> Add Mission. Give a name to your mission and click on Add Waypoints to begin defining your route. Clicking on the map will place a pin; this way you can place multiple pins.
In the above screenshot, we have defined a mission that tells a drone how to go to Palo Alto Health Care. Apart from defining a route, you can set the flight speed and a Finish Action. The Finish Action tells a drone what to do once it reaches the destination; you can set the following actions.
- Return to Home
In our case, we have selected Return to Home that signifies that the drone will drop the payload and return to base.
Please note that FlytNow Pro offers limited features for mission planning. Advanced features are available in FlytNow Enterprise for Delivery.
Step 4: Creating a Pre-flight Checklist
This feature allows you to create a pre-flight checklist. In the case of a delivery operation, a checklist will ensure that a drone is configured properly before it is sent out on a mission.
To create a checklist, click on CHECKLIST and then Add to Checklist to add a checklist item. While adding a checklist item, you can also add a description.
I have created a checklist suited for drone delivery operations. You can create your own checklist.
Step 5: Setting Up a Geofence
A geofence allows you to set up a boundary for your operations. Once you set a boundary, FlytNow will not allow your drones to fly beyond the boundary.
You can set up a geofence by:
- Going to the GEOFENCE section in the FlytNow dashboard where you should be able to see your drones as a list.
- Click on the edit option available in front of your drone name.
- Enable the Geofence radius by clicking on the button.
- Set the Geofence Values as per your safety requirements, i.e Height, and Radius.
- The Height is restricted to 500 meters and radius is restricted to 8000 meters.
- Click on the Save button after entering the values.
- The following image shows you how your dashboard will look after geofence is set successfully.
The following image shows you how your dashboard will look after geofence is set successfully.
A geofence has two circles. The area between the circles is called a warning zone. Whenever a drone crosses the first circle, the system gives out a warning, but it will not let the drone go beyond the second circle.
While planning a mission, you can’t put a waypoint beyond the first circle.
Step 6: Turn on Live Video Feed (feature Works With a Real Drone Only)
You can access the video feed of a drone from the dashboard. This feature is useful when a drone is out for delivery. This way you can visually assess a flight mission.
Select a drone under the FLY tab. Now you can see the video feed on the top right corner.
You can also enable the multi-cam mode (refer to the above picture) that will allow you to view the video feed from all drones on a single screen.
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Step 7: Share Live Drone Location and Video Feed With a Third Party
You can share live drone locations and video streams with anyone outside the FlytNow platform. This feature is useful especially when you want to share tracking information with a recipient which might include live video feed from the drone.
To initiate sharing click on the share button on the video panel
In the next dialog box click on Create new link.
Enter the email address of the person to whom you want to share the video.
Select the drones and your preferred options. You get the option to share both the map and the video.
The person with whom you have shared the live feed gets an email with a secure PIN. Tell him/her to click on View Operation and enter the secure PIN to start the live streaming.
Step 8: Initiating a Drone Delivery: Launching a Drone and Selecting a Mission
Once you are done with the basic setup, it is time to launch your first delivery mission. Consider a situation where you have received a delivery request from a nearby medical center, and you are about to initiate a launch.
Under the FLY tab select a drone (has to be online) and click on the launch icon in the bottom right corner.
You will be asked to select a flight mode. Select Mission. In the next window, you will see all your missions. Select a mission and click on start.
Step 9: Completing the Pre-flight Checklist and Executing the Mission
Next, you have to complete the pre-flight checklist.
Once you are done with the checklist, hit Execute to begin your delivery.