Dragontail Systems, a restaurant technology and software provider, has teamed up with Valqari, a Chicago-based drone delivery startup, to use autonomous drones to drop orders at remote landing zones. The partnership is working towards enabling complete contactless delivery by drone.

According to the current vision, autonomous drones will be deployed through Dragontail’s Algo Dispatching System, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to optimize and manage the entire food preparation process from order to delivery. The drones will drop off strategically coordinated orders from restaurant kitchens to remote landing stations, located in key spots from parking lots to service stations, where delivery drivers or the customers themselves will pick them up for that last-inch delivery connection.

Valqari’s Drone Delivery Station will provide a secure and convenient delivery receptacle at each location, which means drivers will no longer need to “catch the food” by waiting under the drones—which comes with the risk of physical contact with the propellers. The food will be delivered straight into lockers where it will be kept hot, fresh and safe.

“These products not only provide cost-effective solutions to restaurants by reducing manpower and labor costs, but also grant the opportunity to reach an extended customer base in both urban and rural areas,” said Ido Levanon, CEO and director of Dragontail Systems. “This is vital to combating the current crisis impacting the restaurant industry.”

Dragontail Systems CEO Ido Levanon

Valqari is the owner of several key patents in the drone-delivery logistics system. The company claims its drone solution has “solved the last-inch logistic problems with a Smart Drone Delivery Mailbox.” This receptacle provides a secure and convenient delivery receptacle for both drone and traditional deliveries.

Representatives of both companies say this combined system will ensure the end-customer receives a high-quality order by integrating the food preparation process with the autonomous drone deliveries to secure landing stations to enable minimum delay and waste throughout the system. This process will increase the effectiveness of drivers as they make multiple short delivery trips, rather than long trips to restaurants and dark kitchens. It is also safer, as it reduces physical contact with kitchen staff.

“This innovation signals a fundamental change in the logistics of the food industry and combines technologies to offer a secure and contactless delivery experience for both drivers and the end customers,” said Valqari CEO Ryan Walsh.