Indianapolis-based tech startup Dronedek Corporation has signed an agreement with Indian electronics company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to design and manufacture its smart mailbox drone delivery system for global distribution.
The Dronedek unit is a secure smart mailbox that accepts delivery via aerial drones or conventional means. Controlled via an app, the mailboxes are capable of keeping packages hot or cold; alerting users to the arrival of a package; recharging drones; and issuing emergency alerts.
Dan O’Toole, Dronedek CEO and founder, said, “Dronedek must work with the reliability and redundancy of a 747 airliner with 300 people on it. This new collaboration between BEL and Dronedek gives us the edge and credibility we have been looking for in the marketplace.”
The agreement pairs Dronedek’s intellectual property with BEL’s world-class engineering, manufacturing and deployment. Initial discussions envision Dronedek executing up to US$50m in product purchase orders with units expected by the second quarter of 2022.
Anandi Ramalingam, chairman and managing director at BEL, said, “We are always raising the bar on our technical offerings, and we want to continue to be a company of firsts. The Dronedek opportunity presents for BEL a new vertical in the changing landscape of worldwide, last-mile logistics, one in which we will be able to put a stake in the ground and build on.”
In October 2021, Dronedek Corporation announced that it had reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit initiated by autonomous logistics developer Valqari. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Commenting on the settlement, O’Toole said, “This action enables both of us to move forward in this exciting new package delivery industry.”