ARDN Technology, a Russian company, has tripled its production site to start the release of a prototype series of SKYF cargo drones. The first drones will be used to run tests, including shipping to the first clients who have already scheduled flight testing. Based on the results of the technology development in the pilot run, the first mass production of cargo drones in Europe will launch in 2020.
“We have expanded our experimental production site in Kazan and now we are able to produce 3-4 drones per month. The first party of the drones will be employed for testing in various areas, from field processing and cargo delivery to water-bombing fire extinguishing. On the first party, we will work out all the conditions and tasks possible. This will allow us to accelerate the creation the final design of the drone, the utter version. With it, the first mass production of unmanned aerial cargo platforms in Russia will be launched in 2020,” explained Alexander Timofeev, ARDN Technology CEO.
According to Timofeev, the company has also enlarged the development-design office and plans to expand the staff. To run the tests, ARDN Technology has opened a unique flight-test center of almost a thousand square meters. There are test stands for cargo drones simulating various conditions of the drones’ future operation.
SKYF is an unmanned aerial platform for vertical take-off and landing. At the moment, the drone’s payload capacity is up to 400 kg, its flight range is up to 350 km, and the flight duration is up to 8 hours (with a payload of 50 kg). Because of the impressive carrying capacity, foreign media have already given SKYF a nickname, “Russian Hulk”. By now, ARDN Technology has closed a number of preliminary supply agreements with Russian and foreign companies. Agrochemical concern August, Rusagro group, Prodimeks-Holding, AFG National Agro Holding, Slavneft, Pony Express, Aerial Forest Protection Service (Russia), Carciel (Japan), ITC port (Vietnam), and others are among the clients. Moreover, the company has applied for certification according to the aviation safety standards of the European Union.
The functional feature of SKYF is its universal modular design, allowing to develop multiple modifications of the drone for various tasks, climatic conditions and peculiarities of local legal regulation. Due to the separation of the functions of the lifting and steering rotors, the platform can directly utilize the energy of the internal combustion engine to create a lifting force without the expensive electric circuitry of the series hybrid. This reduces the cost of the device significantly and enables the mass implementation of the technology of high-capacity unmanned vehicles.
Today, there are no analogues of SKYF in the market. The unique patented aerodynamic design and mathematical model, technical characteristics and pricing policy, as well as the practical experience accumulated by the team over several years are the factors providing the platform a serious market advantage. For reference, one of the Scandinavian cargo drones developers claims creating a similar solution and being prepared to release it to the market only by 2024.
In 2018, the SKYF team has launched SKYFchain, an operational platform for unmanned cargo logistics based on the smart contract technology. It aggregates the information on all the events occurring with cargo robots throughout the lifecycle (from the release and the maintenance to the details of the flight assignments) and guarantees its reliability. Also, the platform allows conducting logistics and financial calculations of any complexity in the smart contract format, which simplifies the interaction of operators and customers.
SKYFchain gives financial and insurance organizations a clear and reliable tool for controlling assets, including such operations as leasing, mortgage, and any other transactions made in both traditional and crypto-currencies. This enables automated monitoring of the quality of services and the workload of the fleet, production licenses, insurance premiums, number of departures and incidents, and multiple other indicators. Depending on this data, financing rates can be adjusted. SKYFchain makes financial instruments more accessible for the nascent market of unmanned cargo logistics.
The first manufacturer of cargo drones to transfer the transaction history to SKYFchain will be ARDN Technology itself. However, SKYFchain is open to any drones manufacturers, including cars and cargo ships manufacturers, logistics providers and financial institutions. SKYFchain has every chance to become a universal tool, a benchmark in the unmanned logistics market. In the next 3-4 years, the demand for SKYFT tokens is estimated at over $ 50 million as based on the confirmed demand for SKYF devices.
In March 2018, SKYFchain collected $ 2 million in five days as course of the tokens resale. The main phase of tokens sale will last till June 15. Information about it is available at http://skyfchain.io.
SKYF is an unmanned aerial platform for vertical take-off and landing. It allows the development of unmanned aerial vehicles of various modifications, applicable for diverse tasks, from cargo logistics and field processing to fire extinguishing. At the moment, the carrying capacity of the platform is up to 250 kg, the flight range is up to 350 km (with a carrying capacity of 50 kg), and the flight duration is up to 8 hours (with a carrying capacity of 50 kg).
The developer of the SKYF platform is the engineering company ARDN Technology, created by a group of Russian investors. The main development office of the company is located in Kazan.