US startup DroneDek has been granted a patent for its smart mailbox that enables drones to drop-deliver parcels to a secure location.
DroneDek aims to solve the problems associated with last-mile drone delivery by offering a secure cargo area that can be heated or cooled to suit pharmaceutical and grocery deliveries. The mailbox can either operate from a solar or mains power supply, and features a heated trapdoor to function in any climate. It can also double-up as a charging station for delivery drones needing a power boost.
Users can monitor the progress of their delivery via the DroneDek app which provides delivery notifications and images using an internal camera. DroneDek allows drones to access to its secured cargo area via an encrypted code which is renewed for each parcel drop.
Costs for the DroneDek unit as well as installation costs are not yet available, but may include a freemium model, a monthly app subscription or an outright purchase model.