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Zipline P2: Orders Silently Descending from the Sky

company logo for Zipline Zipline

Country: United States of America

Year: 2023


Silent, fast, safe, and convenient - this is how Zipline's Platform 2 (P2) drone delivers food and items to your doorstep or backyard

Status: Commercially available

Operation: Autonomous

Robot Type / Domain: Service, Delivery

Tasks: Delivery, Home Delivery, Residential/Urban Delivery

Whimsical Intro (by addoobot)

Food from the sky? No, it’s not from the heavens but from a drone that's making the skies our new highways! Why? You don’t want your food to get cold or take your medication late, and it’s eco-friendly. Curious? Discover more below!

More Videos

Play video background image - video 1
An Introduction to Zipline's Platform 2 (P2)
Play video background image - video 2
Documentary by Mark Rober on this Incredible Invention
Play video background image - video 3
Keynote Talks and Experiences by Zipline for 2023

Learn More

Zipline Platform 2 (P2): Delivery from the Sky, But Why?

When it comes to home delivery for food, groceries, or even medical supplies, you would probably think of services like Uber or local delivery services that use cars and trucks. Another relatively new delivery method that may come to mind is ground mobile robots that autonomously deliver items.  

But, what if the future of delivery didn’t involve wheels on the ground? What if your dinner, medicine, or groceries silently descended from the sky, landing gently at your doorstep or backyard? Zipline has made this a reality!

Why consider aerial delivery? In short, it’s cheaper, safer, faster, eco-friendly, and traffic-free. Also, let's face it, it's kind of cool to watch your order arrive from above. But you need to hear it first so you know when and where to look, which is tricky because Zipline P2 is engineered to be quiet, something you would want in residential areas.

Zipline isn’t new to the game. They’ve already pioneered drone delivery through their Platform 1 (P1), and achieved huge success after starting to transport vital medical supplies and blood to remote areas in Africa, including Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. Now, they’re bringing that expertise to your neighborhood, aiming to make drone delivery commonplace and widespread.

What Makes Zipline P2 Special?

What makes P2 special is its emphasis on efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. How did Zipline achieve this? By developing an ingenious two-part delivery system.

Here's how it works: The main drone, known as the Zip, flies to the delivery location and hovers high above. From this vantage point, a smaller delivery Droid, located within Zip's belly, is lowered using a tether. This droid has a propulsion system allowing it to stabilize against winds and navigate precisely to its landing spot.

The overall system is equipped with sensors and advanced vision and perception algorithms. Thus, the item can safely land on a backyard table, doorstep, or an appropriate area with pinpoint accuracy.

By keeping the main drone high in the sky, two important aspects of drone delivery are addressed. The first is that the noise level is significantly reduced, making the operation very quiet and preventing disturbance to nearby residents. The drone rotor blades are also innovatively designed to further reduce noise levels.

The second aspect is enhanced safety. With the drone hovering above, there is no risk of the rotors or blades coming into contact with people, pets, or structures like houses and trees.

Other Features and Benefits of Zipline Platform 2

Other than being quiet and precise when delivering, P2 is also efficient and has a great flying range for local delivery. With a 16 km delivery radius and a speed of up to 112 km/h, it means that your groceries, meals, or medical supplies can arrive in a flash. In fact, P2 makes it seven times faster to deliver items than the traditional way of using automobiles.

The P2 also has a great payload capacity of 3.6 kg. This capacity means that it can handle a wide range of items, from restaurant meals and grocery orders to critical medical and hospital supplies.

Is integrating P2 into existing systems and operations complex? Not at all, the folks at Zipline have thought of that too! From straightforward docking and charging to easy loading of the P2's Droid with items, it has all been considered for fast and convenient integration. All that the workers have to do is load a P2 and then press a button to send it off to the target location.

All of the above features and more with an eco-friendly delivery drone! By switching from gas-guzzling vehicles to electric drones, Zipline is helping to reduce emissions and contributing to a greener future. This eco-friendly approach not only benefits the environment but also aligns with the growing consumer demand for sustainable delivery options.

Brief History

Zipline, founded in 2014, had the honorable mission of making the delivery of medical items, such as blood and vaccines, fast and reliable in remote regions or areas with poor infrastructure. This mission started in Rwanda, where Zipline launched its first commercial drone delivery service in 2016. The success in Rwanda led to expansions in Ghana and other countries, showcasing the potential of drone technology in critical logistics for delivering all sorts of items.

As Zipline continued to refine its technology, it identified the need for faster, quieter, and more precise deliveries in urban environments, which led to the development of Platform 2 (P2). Zipline P2 was officially introduced in March 2023.

Technical Specifications

Size: N/A

Max. Payload: 3.63 kg

Max. Payload: 8.003 lbs

Weight: 24.95 kg

Weight: 55.005 lbs

Max. Altitude: 91.44 m

Max. Altitude: 300.000 ft

Max. Horizontal Speed: 31.3 m/s

Max. Horizontal Speed: 102.690 ft/s

Max. Flight Time: N/A

Max. Hovering Time: N/A

Max. Flight Distance: N/A

Battery Recharge Time: N/A

Flying Type: Drone, Droid

Manipulation: other

IP Rating: N/A

Operating Temperature: N/A

Max. Title Angle: N/A

Max. Wind Speed Resistance: N/A

Open-source? N/A

Price: N/A

Service Range: 10 miles service radius, or 24 miles one way

Delivery: Area: Areas as small as a patio table or the front steps are home • Delivery Mechanism: Droid-in-drone tethered delivery from more than 300 feet above ground level

Loading System: Easy-to-use loading portals to send orders

No more specs to show.

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Comment by addoobot - Our Perspective

Many robotics researchers, startups, and businesses have toyed with the idea of drone delivery systems. What makes Zipline's P2 stand out as a practical solution, in our opinion, is its ingenious two-part delivery system (the drone and the droid) which helps with safety and noise reduction, as discussed above. A limitation of this system as opposed to mobile robots is the payload capacity. However, with future advancements, there's no reason why Zipline’s system couldn't handle larger and heavier items. Let us know below what you think about P2!

addoorable score:
As a drone, we find everything about this system 'addoorable', especially the Droid, but also how it operates overall. What's your take on it?

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Average rating: 10.0 out of 10 Number of stars 5.0

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ssasha   8 months ago
this is honestly next level stuff. Is it fully autonomous? I wonder what happens if it doesnt detect tree branches and electric wires etc and the tether gets stuck
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