Someday, Your Dry Cleaning Might Be Delivered To Your House By A Quadrocopter Drone

One Pennsylvania dry cleaner is trying something different to attract customers: Drones. But instead of shooting missiles, they deliver freshly cleaned shirts.

As small quadrocopters—commercially available drones that retail for under $1000—become available, more and more stores are using them. The newest is Manayunk Cleaners, a Philadelphia dry cleaner. 24-year-old owner Harout Vartanian obtained a $700 DJI Phantom drone, which he uses to deliver customers' dry cleaning.

NBC 10's Vince Lattanzio, who has the scoop, says the drone requires two people to operate. Once the drone is launched into the air—at eye level—the clothing delivery must be manually attached to the UAV. The drone is then flown to its destination. This requires the delivery site for the drone laundry to be in the field of vision of the UAV operator, which hampers its use for longer deliveries. In addition, FAA regulations prohibit UAVs from being flown outside of the operator's field of vision; this means that deliveries to a customer's precise GPS location are illegal, although they are possible. Each month, one customer will have their laundry delivered by drone for free.

Fast Company was sent a review copy of the DJI Phantom earlier this year and even used it for some impromptu drone journalism tests.

[Top Image: NBC 10]

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  • David Wang

    This is a great promotion gimmick, but as some commenters have already mentioned this isn't recommended. The FAA guidelines state that drones can't be used for any commercial uses without a permit/license to do so.

    In this case, the FAA guidelines make sense. DJI Phantom props are pretty sturdy and move at a very fast speed. If for whatever reason the propellers hit a customer, they could cause serious damage: I'm not sure this is the smartest move by this business.


  • John Mason

    I disagree with delivering Dry cleaning to home using a Quadcopter. The main reasons mentioned below.

    1) It need two operators as mentioned in this article which can waste a lot of time 2) Operator may not able to fly the Quadcopter in some restricted or (Illegal Places) such as near the airport. 3) FAA has a rule that says Quadcopters cannot be used for commercial purposes unless it has permission from relevant authorities.

    However, I think it might be possible if operator deliver to only a specific remote area where it don't cause any disturbance to public. It would be exciting to see how this goes on near future.