Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has successfully performed a series of tests with its Robin XL unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The tests, performed at the company’s Tranquility Base test range, included the communications system, navigational guidance system, autopilot, take-off and landing performance, general flight stability and performance, multiple velocity vectors and altitude profiles, sound pressure levels, and battery consumption characteristics.
The Robin XL is a mid-size electric hybrid VTOL/fixed-wing drone with an expected range of 60km (37mi) and a payload capacity of 11.3kg (25lb). It includes an advanced integrated parachute system that is expected to mitigate its risk profile and potentially allow for flight over people in the future, thus opening up further applications. Cargo is stored safely and securely inside the drone, with temperature control capabilities. The Robin XL can also carry specialized cameras and sensor payloads.
All the flight tests were conducted in accordance with approvals provided by Transport Canada. The drone is intended to be operated in rural and remote locations, and according to proposed regulations will not require a formal aircraft type-certification for these lower-risk applications. DDC plans to begin COVID-19 support activities and remote area deliveries once testing has been fully completed. Flight approvals will be requested through Transport Canada, following the straightforward and well-established Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) process that DDC has successfully used in the past.
The Robin XL is designed to work with DDC’s proprietary DroneSpot depot system, automated battery management system and FLYTE software system. Future versions are expected to incorporate a touchless cargo drop functionality. The turnkey solution is marketed in a managed service SaaS business model in Canada and as a licensed managed service internationally.
Michael Zahra, President & CEO of DDC, commented: “We are very pleased with the ongoing successful testing of our Robin XL delivery drone. The Sparrow, Robin XL and Condor all have unique commercial use-case applications based on range and payload capabilities, and we are excited to have the Condor and Robin XL models coming to market soon. Robin XL & Condor pre-selling efforts are underway and market response has been very favourable in Canada and internationally, and we are working on a number of specific prospective opportunities for both.”