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]