Who doesn’t love receiving flowers? Especially your wife or your girlfriend. Do you know what is the best way to surprise them? Deliver it to them by drone. Imagine your significant other hearing this loud rotor noise approaching them while carrying a black paper bag. That’s going to give them a big surprise.
One florist is seeking to innovate the way they deliver flowers to customers. Flower Chimp, one of the region’s largest online flower and gifting retailers, is currently prototyping commercial drone deliveries in Malaysia. The company aims to re-invent and integrate environment-friendly delivery methods and green technologies into their operations by the end of 2023.
The company said they see drones as a viable delivery method and a step in the right direction in integrating more green technology within the company but also one that works towards being a more sustainable brand.
Flower Chimp added they are focusing on reducing its carbon-based emissions as it negates traditional delivery efforts as well as reduces waste in the form of packaging. With the drones only being able to carry lighter loads, a lighter form of packaging is in development which also, in turn, will double as being more sustainable.
The company didn’t provide us with the details of what drone they are using. But they did provide us with a video and, from what we can see, it seems they are using a DJI Inspire 1 drone. This is an old model, and DJI no longer produces this drone.
According to DJI’s website, the drone has a maximum flight time of approximately 18 minutes. We assumed they got it this time based on a test in a controlled environment. Since the drone has to carry a paper bag and fly through windy conditions, the flight time is affected and we can only predict that this drone will only deliver to areas within a couple of kilometres.
The drone can reach a top speed of 79m km/h in ATTI mode and in no wind conditions. This is a flight mode where the GPS positioning and other visual positioning systems of the drone are disabled and the pilot has to fly the drone manually.
There’s also a security concern. Drones can be hacked. According to Kaspersky, it’s not particularly difficult to hack a drone, yet many drone operators leave their drones vulnerable to intrusion.
Another thing of concern is how they will make sure the flowers arrive in good condition. If the drone encounters a rough windy condition, will the flowers survive the trip? Hopefully, Flower Chimp can get these questions sorted out. The last thing they want is their customer’s flowers going missing or arriving in bad condition on Valentine’s Day.