Developing software to give drones the ability to navigate across long distances, understand the difference between a telephone wire and an animal, monitor and manage battery life. In short, software development is the key to making delivery by drones successful.
The notion of delivery drones dropping your packages off at your doorstep has been popularized and pursued by companies like Amazon and Alibaba. The battery-powered drone traveling to bring your order versus a large emissions-spewing delivery truck would be a large leap forward in the optimization of emissions and energy, saving companies and consumers. Delivery drones are still in the prototype state of development, facing obstacles like being provided sufficient location data and coming up with a solution to how a drone can carefully deliver packages to consumers.
In order to make the dream of drone delivery possible, delivery drones will need new software and sensors to process the environment around them in order to navigate from the warehouse right to your doorstep. The goal of safe and speedy drone delivery will have little to do with optimizing hardware, heavily relying on software development. With off-the-shelf drones amateur enthusiasts can already fly, spy, and land similar quadrotors. “That’s the easy part,” says Matthew Spenko, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology who’s designed his own crash-proof quadrotor. “The hard part is going to be the autonomy.”