Israeli industrial engineer designs an earthbound parcel delivery drone that recognises recipients from social media sites. Amy Pollock reports.
The Transwheel delivery drone will never get off the ground. And that's just how Israeli inventor Kobi Shikar designed it. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) "TRANSWHEEL" DELIVERY ROBOT DESIGNER AND FORMER STUDENT AT SHENKAR COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, KOBI SHIKAR, SAYING: "I worked on a concept that is a robotic autonomous wheel that is directed by GPS and has photography systems and facial recognition with the purpose of transporting packages, ranging from postal parcels to larger packages." The motorised delivery unicycle will hold packages on its 'head' with two robotic arms. It will then hand them over to its recipients by identifying them from social media sites. The Transwheel uses a similar balancing mechanism to the Segway and would be programmed by a human operator. On-board cameras will help it avoid obstacles and negotiate traffic, while staying earthbound should avoid the dangers of encroaching on commercial airspace. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) "TRANSWHEEL" DELIVERY ROBOT DESIGNER AND FORMER STUDENT AT SHENKAR COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, KOBI SHIKAR, SAYING: "Moving to robots, to this type of transportation, can also limit human accidents that happen on roads due to extended driving and also create perseverance, the pace does not change, it remains the same as opposed to people who often simply need the rest." Industrial designer Shikar says the battery powered technology is also non-polluting. He sees groups of the robot being used to carry large loads. The Shenkar College graduate is backed by his former lecturer. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) LECTURER AT SHENKAR COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, GILAD DAVIDY, SAYING: "The concept is realistic, today there are drones, there is Google's project that are all in the same territory, a vehicle, transportation tool, in the air, sea and ground that transports based on data from satellites and from all different kinds of social networks" Now the Transwheel just needs investors to take it from concept to reality on Israel's roads.