Have you ever felt that the future is here? That’s the sensation we get when we think about robots making deliveries to your home. This is precisely what’s happening in Costa Rica’s city of Cartago. Ticos will have the chance to get a taste of Back to the Future 2, the film that showed us dog walking drones.
Back to the Future 2 was placed on 2015, but now Cartago can feel they”re in a movie, as convenience stores AmPm of Plaza Vivo, Doña Doña and Hooters are giving delivery services with the use of drones. Clients will receive breakfast and lunch combos including donuts and chicken wings airborne style.
The local company GoPato is the one taking the next step into the horizon. They’re currently running a pilot program that will last from Thursday to Sunday. The company has operated for 18 months, covering delivery services and personal assistance, his founder, Jose Navarro explains.
“Up to 70% of our deliveries will be done using drones. People want things now but heavy traffic doesn’t allow it”, said Navarro. During the pilot phase, drones will only make deliveries up to 3 pounds and will only cover up to 2 miles. In production stage, they could double the carrying weight and could travel 5 miles.
Drones, the flying revolution
Just this December, the convenience store chain claimed it beat Amazon as the first regular use commercial drone. 77 (convenient number) deliveries were made in Reno, Nevada. This accomplishment was done as a partnership with drone maker Flirtey.
Amazon made their delivery in the UK on the countryside, a much simpler task than dealing with a populated urban area, which was the case for 7 Eleven’s accomplishment. Mass deliveries were made in December but the convenience store had its first delivery this past July. At that time it transported a chicken sandwich, donuts, candy and hot coffee via drone.
According to a statement from Flirtey, they made deliveries in less than ten minutes after customers made their orders. Autonomous drones did all the delivery services but according to American law, these drones must be within line of sight of their pilot.
GoPato, land and air delivery service
GoPato qualifies itself as a personal assistant, delivering documents, buying food and getting groceries at the supermarket. By doing all these chores and tasks, the company plans to get into the hearts of Costa Ricans, helping them do things most people are not willing and won’t do because it takes precious time of their daily schedule.
Users can access the service through Facebook Messenger or by downloading the GoPato app that’s in beta stage. Customers can make payments with debit or credit card, prices and fees on services depend according to the form of transport you hire. Motorbike and car deliveries are available and the drone is in test phase starting this Thursday.
The company has 200 patos hired that will go anywhere and do anything to do your daily errands, from documents to getting lunch or buying groceries. The diligent patos will even take your pet to the vet, says his marketing manager, Daniel Quiros.
GoPato says that services are free to allied companies said José Navarro, for the rest of our customers, he expects that costs are less than ¢500, a little less than a dollar in American currency.
Navarro also added that the drones are autonomous like the ones 7 Eleven or Amazon use. In other words, the drones avoid any object or building that stands in its way. After the pilot program finishes, some fine tuning and security permissions are the next steps for GoPato. Then the service will be fully available for all customers.
“We hope we can expand our business within three or five months’ time”, said the company’s CEO. Using this new service and its implementation doesn’t mean we’re reducing our workforce because the company is in constant growth.
GoPato’s name and qualities
GoPato has on their workforce proved professionals. They recently added two Silicon Valley mentors and experienced engineers that have worked for logistics giant DHL. GoPato takes up to 100 orders on a daily basis, showing that people value their efforts to lead the way in personal assistants as they call it.
They offer an innovating service and a new alternative in the Costa Rican market. Its performance reflects on various acknowledgments it has received, both nationally and internationally. Forbes included GoPato in the Top30 best entrepreneurs in Central America.
Thanks to their alliances with leading companies as AmPm, Hooters, Britt and Automercado, GoPato could offer successful sales promotions that in occasions ran out in a little more than an hour after their announcement.
2016 was a year of great events for GoPato, and they’re starting strong this year with the drone delivery pilot. By the second half of the year should be fully functional for companies and customers alike.