On the roof of a building at Milfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan, North County Dublin, staff from drone delivery company Manna are working on delivering take aways to the local area.
The company has received an extremely positive reaction since launching in Ballbriggan last year.
Manna works with a number of different vendors, including Tesco and some local take aways to deliver a range of products and food straight to a customers door…by drone.
On a normal Saturday or Sunday morning, the company can make around 200 deliveries, and the CEO of the company, Bobby Healy, explained how it all began.
“We started in Moneygall at Barack Obama Plaza, the village has a population of around 700 people, and when we ran the trial there 40% of the village used it," he said.
“We then rolled it out in Oranmore, County Galway where we served a population of 10,000 people on a trial basis.
"And now we are serving Ballbriggan which has a population of 35,000”.
Flying autonomously, a single Manna drone can complete one hundred deliveries a day and one employee can remotely oversee up to 20 drones at the same time.
Manna fly custom-developed aerospace grade drones, with a flight time of just three minutes. The drones operate within a 2km radius of Manna’s HQ at Millfield Shopping Centre, at an altitude of between 50 and 80 metres and a speed of over 60kmph.
Deliveries, which must weigh less than 2kg, are delivered in packages about the size of a shoe box.
Customers can place orders via an app on their smartphone or tablet, with the service running seven days between 8am and 9pm.
Packages are lowered to the ground using a piece of string, which detaches as soon as your delivery touches the ground - it really is that straightforward.
Flight paths have been agreed with regulators and the company insists the technology is safe.
After only a minute the drone is loaded and then a low hum can be heard as the drone takes off - “That delivery will be with the customer now in a matter of minutes”.
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Aisling Kenny, who lives in a housing estate in Balbriggan thinks it’s a great idea.
“It’s so handy, especially on a Sunday morning, it means I don’t have to hop into my car or be stuck in traffic," she said.
"I was actually telling my grandparents about it and they couldn’t believe it, but I think this is the future."
So, could drove deliveries soon become normal across Ireland? The CEO of Manna, Bobby Healy certainly thinks so.
“This will become normal, and we plan to roll it out in another Dublin suburb in the next few months," he said.
“You can bet that drone delivery will be normalised in Ireland and Europe in the next few years, certainly in Ireland by 2024”.
Main image: A delivery drone.