Interview With Whitney Wang
Welcome to embedded I am Ille- Co alongside Christopher White. Today we are going to talk about professional Taco copters. Well actually prescriptions delivered via drones in places where growth's aren't viable. I guest is Whitney Wong from ZIP line. Thanks for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Sure. As we said. Hong I'm embedded software engineer at supply. Supply is start and we make high-speed fixed-wing drones that deliver essential medical supplies around the world. Joins a blind a year ago straight out of college, and I actually have a background in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Building robots sand. Really, excited to be here today. We are excited to ask about drones and. Some world travel. But before that, we want to do a lightning round where we ask short questions may watch for. And if we'RE BEHAVIORAL OURSELVES WE WON'T ASK WHY. Are you ready. Good To to complete one project started as. Well. In practice I definitely start doesn't but in theory I would definitely like to compare one. Do you have a favorite acronym. That's a good question. I don't actually have a favorite acronym, but I have at least data acronym cuts new. Okay it's it's one of those reclusive acronyms. It's very annoying. If, you could teach college courses what would you like to teach? I took this really amazing course when I was in college called transformations in art and engineering and it combined art and engineering, we've got to do a lot of really cool embedded. He projects and was really free form and yeah very creative So I would definitely like to teach a class like that. Drone. Or Quad. Copter. I guess Quad Copter is a subset of droned. Depending on your definition but. Said fixed-wing. So What is the silliest application you've seen? ooh. Twenty question i. I guess. One of the summers for my internships. I worked at a startup where we try to make an indoor drone. It was basically a quad copter encompassed in a ball and it looked like the death star so. That was pretty fun. Cool. Do you have a tip everyone should know. Yeah Don't be afraid to get started I definitely seen many of my peers. get really intimidated by Harvard projects coming from like same more pure software background but you know, don't be afraid to to just like get moving in and make mistakes and learn along the way. Okay. So tell me about zip-line. fixed-wing launchers. Give us the rundown. Yeah. So the technology is pretty cool but it seems kind of random men and a kind of strange If you look at it from like today's perspective just watching videos online how it works is actually we have a swing drones. They look like tiny airplanes. They an operator assembles these drums on a launcher, which is basically a high speed catapult. The operators hit a button and these drones catapulted into the sky at a hundred kilometers per hour. So these drones, then move across the sky and We actually have a service radius of about eighty kilometers, which is about fifty miles and when it reaches the final delivery site which is typically a hospital or health facility in any of the countries that we serve. It will open. It's payload doors release a package with a parachute attached to it, and that package will guide to the ground and the local doctors who requested the order will go in retrieved package. Are Jones will autonomously fly home and it will actually. Do something that we referred to as a recovery, which is essentially It doesn't have landing gear. So what it does is it has a tiny centimeter long hook. At the end of its tail boom, and there is a big trust structure where our original like launching location is so like the recovery system is right next to that catapult launcher. And on top of this big trust. Will be a a line essentially like fishing line attached across this trust structure. The line will snap up as the drone reports keep. Yes. Location at a sub centimeter level accuracy back to the ground station and it will engage with the line catch on. So it's pretty magical looking.