Featured NewsDrone DeliveryGeneral NewsNew A2Z Drone Delivery RDS2 Winch Can Carry Any Box Up to 22 Pounds


August 19, 2022

A2Z Drone Deliverydeveloper of commercial drone-delivery solutions—is launching its second generation Rapid Delivery System (RDS). The RDS2 automated delivery winch eliminates the need for specialty cargo boxes, and is capable of delivering any payload up to 22 lbs., making it the highest-payload capacity delivery winch on the market.

A2Z Drone Delivery is also rolling out a new integrated cargo drone, the RDST, offering service providers an off-the-shelf drone delivery system for last mile deliveries. While the RDST features an integrated RDS2, the standalone Rapid Delivery System can also be installed on an array of popular enterprise delivery UAVs.

With the release of the new RDS2 and RDST, A2Z Drone Delivery is expanding its lineup of drone-delivery hardware focused on its core mission of creating systems that address consumer-protection concerns with burgeoning residential-drone deliveries. By conducting deliveries from altitude, A2Z Drone Delivery’s solutions protect recipients from spinning UAV propellers, while mitigating privacy concerns of low-flying drones and abating intrusive rotor noise.

“Most drone-delivery systems in deployment today require payloads to be packaged in special boxes, pouches, or on-board payload compartments," explains Aaron Zhang, Founder and CEO of A2Z Drone Delivery, Inc. "The RDS2 is designed to meet what every shipper wants, using what every shipper has. The RDS2 can auto-release the shipper’s own boxes, removing the need for a recipient on the ground to meet the drone, and retrieve packages without landing. These capabilities, combined with the utmost payload flexibility and the heaviest payload capacity currently on the market, makes our RDS2 a strong investment for drone-service providers looking to rapidly scale commercial delivery applications.”

While designed for the rigors of rapidly-expanding residential-drone delivery applications, the RDS2 and RDST are ideal for many logistics challenges, such as delivering medical supplies or life-saving equipment for search and rescue operations.

Outside the logistics sector, current A2Z Drone Delivery customers have deployed the tethered Rapid Delivery System for intra-site transport of tools and samples in mining operations, shore-to-ship delivery of urgent supplies and port documents, as well as placement and retrieval of ground sensors for industrial inspections. The RDS2 and RDST have already completed extensive beta testing subjecting the platforms to real-world stresses and user demands.

“The RDS2 has completed more than 2000 test deliveries, and is already deployed with six of our beta-test partners which have tested the platform in a diverse array of applications,” says Evan Hertafeld, A2Z CTO. “Consistency and reliability are the name of the game, and this testing has reinforced the effectiveness of our hardware. Responding to partner feedback, we also sought to streamline maintenance with our new A2Z Assistant software and a longer-lasting tether to reduce downtime.”

Forward Vision

The development of scalable drone delivery ecosystems is currently being led by some of the major players in the industry—such as Walmart/DroneUp, Amazon, and Google Wing—but, eventually, the market will diversify and become more democratized with local/regional service providers completing those last-mile drone deliveries.

For the foreseeable future, A2Z expects to stay focused on the continued development of our last-mile delivery solutions. What form those new solutions will take is really up to the continued feedback the company gets from its partners and customers. The new RDS2 and RDST were born of customer feedback, as their deployments required expanded payload capacities and more flexibility in cargo size and shape. A2Z expects its customers will continue to help chart the future of drone delivery.

A Deeper Dive on the RDS2 Rapid Delivery System

Featuring a compact design, the new RDS2 maintains the redundant safety mechanisms of its predecessor, including its payload monitoring system, passive payload lock, manual or automatic tether controls, and tether abandonment should it become inadvertently entangled. New features of the RDS2—developed in response to hours of user feedback—include:

  • Heavy-Duty Drive Motor. Enables the RDS2 to deliver payloads up to 22 pounds—the highest payload capacity on the market.
  • Work With Any Off-The-Shelf Boxes. Requiring no specialty delivery boxes, the RDS2 fits right into any existing logistics network.
  • Payload Auto-Release. Patent-pending auto-release mechanism can deposit any box without the need for a human receiver.
  • Payload Pickup. Retrieve payloads up to 11 lbs. while maintaining a safe hover.
  • Low Profile and Easy-To-Integrate Form Factor. The entire chassis of the RDS2 can be easily tucked into the belly of any heavy-lift drone and is less than four-inches tall, leaving plenty of headroom for cargo.
  • Ultra-Long-Lasting Tether. Upgraded, braided Kevlar tether extends maintenance cycles up to 800 deliveries between tether replacements.
  • General-Purpose Payload Hook. Optional manual-release hook capable of delivering or picking up everything from bags to buckets.
  • A2Z Assistant. Intuitive desktop application for maintenance, system configuration, etc.
The New RDST Integrated Cargo Drone

Designed to meet current FAA weight requirements for commercial delivery drones, the RDST integrated cargo drone employs a stable and redundant octocopter configuration paired with the RDS2 to offer drone-service providers a ready-to-fly delivery system. While the operational range of the platform is dependent on payload specifics, the RDST can extend operations up to a 9-mile round trip from a main distribution center. The RDST is designed to satisfy the entire range of payloads modern drone operators need to carry, and is rated for safe flight with payloads up to 11 pounds. The RDST stands 29 inches tall, and its rotors easily collapse for transport in the provided flight case.

  • Factory-Integrated RDS2. With the included RDS2 winch, the RDST is ready to deliver out-of-the-box.
  • Massive Cargo Bay. The cargo bay can accept packages up to 18"L x 18"H x 14"H.
  • Upgraded Ground Control Station (A2Z QGC). An intuitive user interface integrates RDS2 commands and telemetry with open-source Q Ground Control mission-planning software capable of conducting pre-planned automated delivery missions without needing to land.
  • Extended Radio Range. Up to 18-mile transmission range with optional 4G LTE connectivity.
  • Designed for Work. Easily replaceable parts and simple design makes for low-fuss maintenance and minimal operational cost per mile.
  • Onboard Lidar. Provides relative AGL height readings for maximum safety. Optional precision delivery and landing capabilities.
  • Open-Source Flight Control Software. Allows easy integration with third-party hardware and software.

The all new A2Z Drone Delivery RDS2 Rapid Delivery System and the ready-to-fly RDST integrated cargo drone can be purchased through the company website

Watch the System in Action

About A2Z Drone Delivery, Inc.

With its patented delivery system, A2Z Drone Delivery, Inc. is developing innovative solutions to enable safe, accurate, and low-noise drone deliveries. Focused on last-mile UAV delivery systems, A2Z Drone Delivery is creating UAV delivery platforms capable of pushing drone delivery into the mainstream of logistics operations. Based in Los Angeles, California, A2Z Drone Delivery originated as a drone-delivery project at Brown University in 2016, and now services customers around the world which are leveraging its technology for a diverse array of applications. 

A2Z Drone delivery released the first-generation of its Rapid Delivery System (the RDS1) in 2020, and the tethered-delivery system saw rapid adoption in numerous applications. Most notably, industry trailblazer DroneUp employed the RDS1 in its residential-drone delivery trials. Mounted on the DroneUp flight platform, the RDS1 made its first commercial delivery in a trial flight with Coca-Cola in Coffee Country, Georgia, in January 2021. Later in 2021, A2Z Drone Delivery expanded its commercial offerings with the RDSX, a dual-payload UAV platform. The newest additions to the A2Z ecosystem are the new RDST integrated cargo drone, and the RDS2, the second-generation of the companies proprietary tethered delivery system.

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