Drone software company wins first Postal Innovation Platform startup competition

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Unmanned Life, a startup developing software able to control and coordinate different types of aerial and ground-based drones, has won the inaugural Postal Innovation Platform (PIP) Startup Innovation Jury award at POST-EXPO 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Held for the first time during POST-EXPO 2017, the world’s leading event for the postal and parcel sector, the Postal Innovation Platform’s Startup Jury competition invited 12 startups to present their products and services to an expert panel of five judges. The aim of the competition is to find developments that have the potential to change the postal and logistics market, or even create a new market.

Unmanned Life has developed ‘middleware’, software that serves as an intermediary between systems software and an application, for the management of drones. Unmanned Life believes companies that want to run systems of autonomous drones in the future, such as postal and parcel companies that aim to automate sorting centers, will require their ‘autonomous drones as a service’ (A-DaaS) software.

Other initial applications for the technology include warehousing, surveillance and inspection.

Speaking at the Postal and Parcel Technology International Awards ceremony at POST-EXPO 2017 in Geneva, Kumardev Chatterjee, chief executive officer, Unmanned Life, said, “Our software integrates different types of autonomous vehicles that can carry cargo or perform tasks, and pulls them together into a drone fleet.

“We’ve mastered the integration of different types of drones, on the ground and in the air, using wi-fi and 4G communication networks. We can also deploy anywhere and scale-up quickly.

“The first applications will be in the postal sector, we’ve got some big announcements coming before the end of the year.”

Unmanned Life has won the opportunity to present its software to Swiss Post at the organization’s headquarters, to gain feedback and a possible cooperation agreement.

Bernhard Bukovc, chairman of the PIP, said, “This is a startup that really is a gamechanger. When you look at what they have in the pipeline you can see that it is really set for great things.”

Other companies that presented at the PIP include French startup TwinswHeel, which is developing an affordable droid able to carry heavy loads; ShopRunBack, which is developing software and physical infrastructure to better facilitate e-commerce returns; and Hanhaa, which recently announced the commercial deployment of its parcel tracking service.

September 27, 2017

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