Tom Murphy, Founder & CEO
Tom Murphy, a veteran strategist for logistics and packaging solutions, was enjoying the tranquility of Colombia while travelling around Medellin on his way to Bogotá to attend a conference. However, his attention was soon diverted from the serenity of the landscape to a queue of cargo trucks that were moving up the mountainous highway. It was anybody’s guess what the trucks—travelling for days—were carrying to their destination. The sight of the heavily-loaded vehicles made Murphy ponder how road transport in the logistics world is slow-moving and fraught with risks of getting damaged. An innovative idea struck upon Murphy at that instant: “Why can’t drones be used for long-distance freight transfers like the way they are being used for customer shipment deliveries?”
Later that day, during the conference, on being asked about the next most exciting technological advancement that he foresees for the logistics landscape, he replied—cargo drones. An idea so innovative and unique caught the attention of the private equity crowd immediately. Today that idea is finally taking the shape of reality with Murphy’s company, Cognitive Seeds. The company’s latest venture, ‘Project Cielo,’ is bringing to fore heavy-duty autonomous cargo drones to deliver freight. “These cargo drones will not only shrink the delivery times drastically but also become a boon for local businesses and the environment by reducing the large numbers of carbon-emitting trucks on the road,” asserts Murphy.
By optimally combining different existing leading-edge technologies like IoT and machine automation, these autonomous cargo drones are being designed to carry a freight load of 10 tons for a distance of 435 miles. The drones can only operate in air lanes between designated robotic drone hives (drone airports) owned and operated by Cognitive Seeds.
By optimally combining different existing leading-edge technologies like IoT and machine automation, these cargo drones are being designed to carry freight load of 10 tons for a distance of 435 miles
Made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites (CFRP), these drones are equipped with a proprietary AI autonomous system, IoT sensors, and have 360-degree HD and infrared cameras laced around them to help with collision detection and to allow the drone pilot get a better view from their VR Pilot system, should the need arise. Another major breakthrough is the design of its shipping containers that are made from CFRP, instead of steel, making them lighter and stronger. These airtight and floatable containers, or any standard shipping container, are attached to the drone body, wrapped in specially designed cargo cages, lessening the chance of the freights getting accidently unfastened.
Besides offering sturdiness, security is also a paramount concern that Cognitive Seeds aim to resolve through its cargo drone logistics ecosystem. To prevent any mishap from occurring when the drone is flying, the firm has designed exclusive smart lanes for drones, which are positioned away from the populated areas. To add to that, the drones are equipped with human detection sensor to help them identify human presence during its flight and automatically divert its route. This approach to logistics operations has not only caught the government’s eye but various major logistics brands. “We are very close to commercializing this ground-breaking technology,” says the founder-CEO.
With an eye on the peak, Cognitive Seeds is all set to usher in a new advancement in the logistics industry with its autonomous cargo drones and robotic drone hives. The CEO hopes to explore the utility of drones in multifarious logistics domains like carrying military supplies and delivering snail mails. “Not only will these drones help enterprises speed up their supply chain journey but also make the process more sophisticated and efficient,” concludes Murphy.