New Matternet Drone Station Enables Fully Automated Battery, Package Exchange


Matternet, Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of an autonomous drone logistics platform, has unveiled the Matternet Station, which the company says enables fully automated ground operations for Matternet customer networks.

The Matternet Station is the third and final technology component for enabling Matternet’s vision of distributed, peer-to-peer logistics networks. It is integrated with the company’s autonomous M2 Drone and cloud platform to provide an intuitive user interface for sending and receiving packages through Matternet.

In March, Matternet received authorization for the full operation of drone logistics networks over densely populated areas in Switzerland. The first Matternet Stations will service healthcare systems in Switzerland to automate on-demand transportation of blood and pathology samples between hospital facilities.

According to the company, the Matternet Station occupies a small footprint of approximately two square meters and can be installed at ground or rooftop locations. It is equipped with technology that guides the Matternet M2 Drone to precision landing on the station’s platform. After the aircraft lands, the station locks the drone in place and automatically swaps its battery and payload. A user is able to send a package to another location by scanning it into the Matternet Station or receive a package from the station by scanning a QR code. Each station comes with its own automated aerial deconfliction system that manages drone traffic over the station, notes Matternet.

“With the Matternet Station, we’re introducing an extremely easy-to-use interface that enables true peer-to-peer drone delivery,” says CEO Andreas Raptopoulos. “For healthcare systems, an integrated Matternet network means that medical items can be delivered to any hospital facility within 30 minutes. This level of speed and predictability creates substantial opportunities for improved quality of care and operational savings.”

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