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Drone-Based Food Delivery Industry in Singapore

Image credit: singaporetech.edu.sg

Delivery of food has become incredibly popular, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the most recent development in a bigger trend in food service automation is drones. All facets of the food service industry are incorporating technology to improve operational efficiency and cut costs.

With a background in aeronautical engineering and a desire to make a difference, this group of six Aerospace Engineering students created an autonomous drone capable of navigating Singapore’s skyline and delivering food from scratch.

The team finished second in the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Innovation Competition 2022, which was co-hosted by the Singapore Land Authority and the Space Faculty.

Six Year 2 students from the Aerospace Engineering degree programme offered jointly by the Singapore Institute of Technology and the University of Glasgow composed the squad namely Chai Ming Keat, Chu Meng Kang, Khosyi Di’bal Bin Harjuna, Muhammad Khairel Bin Ismail, Phoebe Victoria Chee, and Tan Wei He.

The team developed their drone after receiving an email from their professor about the GNSS Innovation Challenge, which required contestants to design a last-mile autonomous robot capable of navigating robot-unfriendly areas. They opted to pursue it because they were intrigued and encouraged by their knowledge of aerospace engineering.

As a result, an autonomous food delivery drone was developed that could deliver meals faster and more safely than human riders. It was an ingenious invention. Following the outbreak, they realised that there was an unprecedented demand for food delivery.

The team noted that the first time they learned how to design a drone was in one of their modules, and even then, it was only in theory and concept. However, building a drone from inception and observing it fly was an accomplishment for them.

According to a Southeast Asia Food and Grocery Trends 2022 analysis, seven out of ten consumers saw delivery as a permanent part of their post-pandemic existence, and monthly food and grocery delivery expenditures were 30% higher in May 2022 versus November 2021. Singaporeans spent the most on delivery.

This put additional strain on both delivery platforms and riders, who put their lives in jeopardy daily. In fact, one out of every three riders was involved in a road collision.

Fawkes was thus created. It is intended to be self-sufficient and clever enough to navigate any high-density city with high-rise structures.

At 10 m/s, Fawkes can go three kilometres in five minutes, delivering significantly more than the average of three to four orders that a human driver can manage and keeping food warm for longer. Using a drone also reduces the need for human-to-human interaction in the setting of a pandemic.

Building a drone from the ground up, it turned out, requires more than simply knowledge of aeronautical engineering. As a result, the team learned new talents along the way. They paid close attention to every aspect, from soldering to sourcing discarded drone parts and electrical components to 3D modelling and programming.

The team intend to build up their prototype and increase its capabilities. Hence, Fawkes is ideal for cross-island food delivery, such as to neighbouring islands that may be difficult to reach because of a lack of roads. They are also determined to extend Fawkes’ flight time so it can travel further and hopes that it would be commercialised and approved for use by the authorities to serve the nation better.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.