Valqari Gets U.S. Patent for its Drone Delivery Station, Has Added Landing Platforms for Windows
Company has been granted 28 patents worldwide.
Valqari announced today that it was granted a new patent (no. 11,117,680) for its drone delivery station from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This is the third U.S. patent for Valqari, and the 28th patent issued across the globe to the company.
Valqari makes landing stations that drones can land on and drop off their payload into a secure locker. Once secured, goods can be retrieved by the recipient or even a third party delivery person (think: DoorDash driver picking up a burrito and taking it the final mile) using a mobile app.
In a brief phone chat today, Valqari Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Walsh told me that Valqari’s three U.S. patents cover:
A window delivery station
A rotating wall that spins to reveal a landing platform for the drone
Standalone ground stations for drones to land on
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I’ve known about Valqari’s standalone ground stations for awhile, but the window functionality was news to me. In the patent application, Valqari said the window station can be affixed to a window like an air conditioning unit and could be used for apartment or condo buildings. For buildings that don’t want a lot of landing pads on their exterior, Valqari said one landing pad could be used by many different residents.
The patent filing also covers a broad range of features and applications such as solar powered charging and temperature controlled receptacles to ensure food deliveries are kept at proper temperatures.
Valqari’s ultimate vision is for everyone to have their own drone drop off box just as they have their own mailbox. Back in July, Walsh said that Valqari would launch its first single-family stations later this year (and that they’d cost $1,500). But during my chat with him today, he said those plans have been pushed back to Q1 of next year.
While still in its infancy, drone delivery is starting to gain momentum (albeit slowly) as a food delivery mechanism. In Galway, Ireland, Manna has been making thousands of delivery flights over the past year. Last year, Walmart piloted drone grocery delivery with Flytrex and this past June invested in DroneUp. Kroger even launched a groceries-by-drone-delivery pilot earlier this year in Ohio.
There are a lot of good reasons to use drones for food delivery. Drones are faster, with the ability to fly over traffic and delivery a latte piping hot in minutes. They are also more ecologically friendly than using a full-sized car to drop off tacos.
Having said all that, there are still safety regulations that need to be resolved as well a privacy concerns that need to be addressed (when I spoke with Manna’s CEO earlier this year, he said people were worried about drones spying on them). But those issues are being worked out and it won’t be that far off in the future when you may have your own drone delivery pad of your very own.