DroneUp picks Iris Automation detect and avoid tech for delivery services


US-based autonomous drone delivery company DroneUp is to use Iris Automation’s Casia G detect and avoid technology.

DroneUp is partnered with US retailer Walmart and has been operating drone delivery services since 2021. The company made 6,000 deliveries in seven states during 2022, but the drones have been controlled by pilots who can see them at all times, limiting the range possible.

That could change after the company announced it is to adopt Iris Automation’s Casia G technology for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) operations.

Casia G is a ground-based surveillance system that uses cameras, machine vision, and AI algorithms to detect and classify aircraft. Casia G alerts operators if a potential collision is detected and provides situational awareness so drones can be moved away from detected aircraft.

The system uses camera nodes to monitor airspace in 360° fields of view which are installed to form a network over large areas. Nodes are located at launch and recovery points, and distributed throughout the delivery areas.

John Vernon, CTO of DroneUp said, “The technology behind Casia G for BVLOS has the potential to be a game-changer in demonstrating that delivery in more populated areas can be as convenient and secure as it currently is in rural environments. Through this partnership DroneUp can dramatically scale operations, freed from restrictions.”

Jon Damush CEO of Iris Automation said, “Through the use of Casia G, DroneUp will be able to remove visual observers – creating a path to more economical scaling of their operations while simultaneously improving safety. Iris is proud to partner with DroneUp in this effort.”

Trials and FAA regulatory approval will be required before DroneUp can use Casia G for Walmart deliveries.

As well as Casia G, Iris Automation is developing AI-based detect and avoid vision systems for integration onboard both crewed and uncrewed aircraft.

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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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