When small drones team up to deliver heavy packages

Are coordinated drone delivery swarms the future of last-mile delivery ecosystem? Yes, says a research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Most delivery drones in development today are expected to handle small payloads. Even the world’s first triple-drop delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198, can carry a maximum of 13 pounds on one battery charge.

So, how do you send a heavier package through the air without requiring a big, unappealing drone that would anyway be shot down by regulators and the general public alike because of its safety, noise levels, and cost factors? You use swarm technology.

Georgia Tech researchers have developed an adaptive control algorithm that would allow teams of small drones to collaboratively lift heavy objects.

A centralized control system monitors each of the drones lifting a package, registering information about their location and the thrust being provided by the machine’s motors. Based on the data, the system coordinates the…