843: Is The DRONAMICS Cargo Drone The Future of Air Cargo?
The welcome to the tank bloke writer podcast, your guy to future, Tech, Trends and innovation in a language. You understand now. Over to your host Neal Hughes. Come back to the tech flaw growing up podcast now as regular listeners will know by now on passionate about finding new stories to share about how people are thinking differently and leveraging technology to solve real problems. And I also love exploring textile took stories from all over the world, especially outside of Silicon Valley and hearing about vibrant textile obscene are emerging. And guess what? Today, we have all that and much much more. Because today, I wanna learn more about a company called genomics, and they're on a mission to democratize airfreight and lower the cost of shipping in emerging markets and to achieve steady developing a new type of cargo plane, but here's the Colbert is small is unmanned an extremely fuel efficient it can transport three hundred fifty K G over two thousand five hundred kilometers a cost. It's fifty percent lower than any other aircraft. And of course, eight flies autonomously it can be money. Tired and managed remotely also satellites and the whole system actually cost less than a sports car. Now when I first heard about this. I thought this doesn't sound possible. But they keep proving the ease of calling this aircraft. The black swan, and he can lend on shore and unpaved runways enabling demand point to point flights and speedy same-day delivery, even to the most remote locations, the kind of location. I'm talking about is the conduct would take days to reach over ground or sea. So essentially using technology to solve very very real problems. When I was researching them, they'll starting with domestic air networks in Africa Asia and Latin American countries with fleets of the black swan taking advantage of a multitude of small airfields that are often on news. So I always say on this show that technology works best when it brings people together. So in this case using autonomous aircraft and partnering with local industry to provide a valuable lifeline of getting. Goods in an out of small remote, mountainous and all island communities within hours, a cost is often below even road transportation that is gonna language. I mean, a technology that can transform a whole economy's doesn't get much better than that. And this company is also based in Sofia in Bulgaria, but today's guest is waiting for his all the way in Capetown South Africa, where he spreading the word about what they're doing with genomics bull. I was able to get him out of the conference just for a few moments. So we could come and speak with us today. So book elope on hold until it. So I can be meal is all the way to Cape Town in South Africa. So we can speak with the co founder of genomics. So messy full welcome to the show. Can you tell listeners a little bit more about genomics way, you'll based what your company's mission is sure thing. My name is thrilling Wrangler. I'm one or the two founders of dynamics I founded it with my brother Constantine four and a half years ago and our purpose in mission is to develop a new type of unmanned aircraft. That is specifically designed for cargo in order to make cargo lot more efficient than it. Currently is we're based out of Sofia Bulgaria, we have a presence in London as well. In our markets are all across Africa Asia the Americas. It's basically trying to transform the logistics networks of mostly emerging markets. But also large countries large in both the geographic and economic sense an Cup of problems like to address and just Kate. The listeners about here is can you describe the challenges with delivering echo today. For example. I read I think it was in wired way, you stay at most small delivery. Drones are an attempt to solve the last mile problem. They held a bike messenger and to cross country truck. But what did you mean by that? What I mean is that there's a variety of ways for you to do the last mile do the final delivery between. Let's say the shop and the in the customer's address or the distribution points and customers address, but when you look at a country, for example, South Africa. Okay. So Africa has a thriving economy, and you know. But for a lot of the goods that they import they will come through Johannesburg, and then they get redistributed throughout the country because you have consumers over the place, not just in the capital, and we will be. It will be very inefficient. If you just keep putting them on trucks in the sense that yes, it will take a long it will be cheaper to do take a long time. What's? We're trying to do is to create those new city pairs that are not able to just right now because currently VA Shen uses the most expensive in the biggest type of egos and the levers them only between the most expensive in biggest type of real estate's the airports maiden be airports around the world. So from most of the cargos perspective the occasion in which a package with Dutch an airplane in the part of the journey that these carried by air is very small too key to put to to give you some numbers less than one percent of global trade is carried by airplanes so ninety nine times out of a hundred the she per se. No, please do not put my package on an airplane because it's too expensive or because they're the flights. You know are not where where. Need them to be or the timetables are not wear when I need them to be. In South Africa again for every kilogram that flights. You have ten thousand kilograms that travel by road. So it's the there's tremendous room for for growth. If one was able to use a new type of Vico wanted these small one of these fuel-efficient wanted these will typically cheap. So that's why we said we need a new type of aircraft that is cheaper to produce it in cheaper to operate. So that we can unlock this, you know, less traveled. This nation's these tier two cities that they don't have the main highways connecting to them and so on and as a result of that you develop the black swan cargo aircraft to address these challenges, so can you describe the aircraft and what makes it different from any other drone? People listening may be thinking about you see a lot of these flying Doxiadis right now, you know, Wilbur in a lot of companies are. You know, showcasing every week. Couldn't you diaper fecal. That's supposed to be carry a caring people by air. We look quite conventional year an aircraft that looks like an Ebola. It's a fixed wing. So we need the runway to take off and we need runway to land. And that's besides the why we are going after the middle mile market the last mile, and so so so the reason we do that is because horizontal flight is much takes much less energy than vertigo and again car ago. I don't care if you use a donkey if he was thrown if you use an airplane. They just want the goods as quickly as cheaply as possible. So the customer is not going to tolerate absurd costs because of these new fancy technology. So which you need to deliver today's new technology at the cost of you know, old one which tremendously hard. So if you were to go on our web. Sites. You can see what their craft looks like it's it looks like a regular aircraft accepted. It's unmanned now chose the payload to be three hundred hundred fifty kilograms precisely because we don't do the last mile. So we asked ourselves. Okay. What is the most common vehicle in the in the whole world to do the last mile in these oldies like small utility vans? Kind of like the Renault can rule, you know, they're the for transit connect, the ones that are basically vans. And we said, let's have our craft match one of these because currently you have very big airplanes, which unload their cargo on a bunch of eighteen wheelers. But the anti Willer itself cannot really stop in front of my apartment building and cannot do that last night. So he itself has to make an additional stop in over again the cargo to those smaller Vance anyway, so he just said, let's could that's Bartlett's. Just skip it than legis this day with a cargo from the bef-. Inning between these small aircrafts because the packages are smaller than that. Anyway. So that's why we chose to hand in fifty kilograms of payload and range, we can cover two thousand five hundred kilometers because the Mark is that we are going to operate in in Africa Asia Latin America, the distances are vastly larger than than the distances in Europe. So, you know, it's a lot more meaningful to offer long range an on at video to the blog post accompanies this podcast over at tech blog, GRA dot Koto, UK just so people can actually see it looks like because the black swan is no ordinary drone on. It's an aircraft that could fundamentally change the shipping industry. But I've got to ask I mean, talks of cargo optimal for the black swan in on any particular markets that you'll focusing him. So we designed it's mostly for e-commerce because we asked the says, okay? If you're leaving. Big city all your needs can be satisfied that same day. Right. But if you leave outside of the big cities, you really small towns mostly these remote areas, then everything gets there longer than one day. Right. So, but but all these communities, they also are smaller. So the capacity is going there will be small which means that you're not going to be shipping. Full ballots of the same thing, you'll going through the shipping individual packages package for me back for you about your neighbor, which makes the cargo very big in terms of you know, volume but low in density. That's that's another reason why we didn't simply take an existing aircraft like a Cessna or piper. We didn't just like with an Ulta by tonight existing aircraft because they were made always with passengers in mind and human density is much different than ecommerce density. So our defense being able to carry two hundred fifty kilos. It can also fit actually the volume three hundred fifty kilos ecommerce packages. So that's about three and a half week near another ecommerce other verticals, we're looking at our medical and pharmacy to delivery, so many supplies vaccine's medication and an also agriculture equipment agricultural produce. And and spare parts and urgent equipment. So for example, when you have a prediction line, and if it breaks or even actually for big aircraft when when they they have some maintenance issue, you know, every every minute every hour costs a lot of money. So they need to expedite that's paper that they're missing in terms of pharmacy deco, a medical deliberates pity obvious, you can skip a large part of the ground transport just by flying. It can get there earlier it can have more positive Beijing. Outcome. And then in terms of IB coacher in a lot of markets around the world, you know spoiler. They just weed any perishable is is a big thing. So the saying goes how in Africa you need to pick twelve oh twelve roses. So that eighth survived the journey into Amsterdam. And the problem never happens on the airplane because in the big airplanes, the international flights there climate controlled in on the bigger was there, you know, in climate controlled warehouses on so he's always been a question of that's journey from the farm to the two that you know to the capital airport. So if it can deliver that quickly and cheaply, and we can control the climate inside with aircraft. Then that's a big value. Add for for agriculture with users. We can take off from the farm literally because we are aircraft can land on unpaved surfaces. So we can land on grass. Yeah. You just need about four hundred meters of runway space as you said you just leave full injured may is a runway spice. The next question's gonna be how much does it cost? I mean, where are you today in terms of production? And how soon do you envision the black swan after being put out lambing to service? Our cost is between fifty and eighty percent lower than other air cargo. So if if if the airline can charge is charging two dollars, we can charge sixty cents or less for the same amount of cargo going the same amount of business, and that's pretty transformation because not only are you able to send smoke a Bassey's which you would never do with a big airplane because no one wants to fly half empty. But also, whatever you send you actually your cost base will be significantly lower in difficulties a very low margin business. So so a fifty percent reduction in the in the cost base is tremendous. In terms of the level that we right now building a food scale prototype. The tweet will be testing next year in the UK will also be doing test in Asia and Africa next year. So yeah, we've validated. The performance we've validated. The air the NYMEX communication small-scale model. So now, we're just building the full scale on you founded the company with your brothers like you. Tell me a little bit bull about your backgrounds, and why you decided to stick out the having fun. John Hicks of you always had a fascination with aviation. We've always been fascinated by Asian. My brother is actually an aerospace engineer. And when when we sold the Amazon Ron's being unveiled five years ago. We realized that's okay. The is clearly there we know that the we know that even passenger flights are already heavily software support it's in ultimate so. We we we thought. Okay, who is going to benefit the most? It's not really going to be that small delivery drawn user because that typically replaces the delivery. Yes. In some cases, where it's really urgent in its medical delivery. Like, they do right now in grander. And so on it's by there's no other way, you have to for most of the things you a delivery guy on the motorbike is just as fine. So. We looked at where the missing link is. And that's why we decided to focus on that. And when we spoke to a few people for leniency, they gave us the, you know, they gave us faith that this is achievable. And yes, there's also a personal elementary it because, you know, growing up in Bulgaria, we we experienced firsthand all the, you know, the transition from a centrally planned economy, which is what book had during communism for almost fifty years. And then it had to transition to capitalists. You know, democracy and for a while, you know, the whole turbulent events in the Balkans in the ninety s they really hit hard Bulgaria's economy. There was hyper inflation. There was runs on the Bank in so long. So he's quite painful, and you were everyone in the country includes Quebec acutely aware how when you're on the pre free. You always end up paying more, which is ironic and quite unfair. But it's a function of simple mathematics. Right. So somebody in Germany bays less for their food than somebody in Bulgaria where incomes that are much lower. And there's we call these the remoteness ducks. So this is what we wanted to fight. So that's the personal element. We want to be able to make sure that its supply chains are optimized and to other populations. And I'm glad you mentioned you'll upbringing upbringing in book Evian that because. You won't based in Sofia. And I understand that. The black swan is the first aircraft design in Bulgaria in seventy years. So what's to start startup climate? Like in Sofia enables you to found such an impressive aerospace daughter. Well, bogere actually had a very interesting history with WGN because in the early twentieth. Century Garrett was a binary navigation. The first military airports in the whole world was in Bulgaria nine thousand twelve it was before the first World War. The first female pilot was Bulgarian first landing with the engine failure successful landing was made by game pilot. So bogere was thriving industry of. Quite sizable industry. There were more than forty different designs. Grated over thirty years in three different factories up until the second World War. And after the second a little door bogere became part of the eastern bloc and was forced to close down, these factories and starts, you know, buying aircraft from from the Soviet Union. So it was the in the sea is of Dylan really exists for for seventy years. And we saw the this shouldn't be something. That's should stop us. Because what we're trying to cheat his mouth just in terms of aircraft manufacturing. But there's a lot of on the software side as well. And that's where we'll get his base strong. Bulgaria for the best ten years his really establish itself has the Silicon Valley of eastern Europe. Because there's a tremendous number of really smart software, developers who work for all kinds of crazy. I mean, the first office of Wilbur, the first software developer office of Ober outside of San Francisco was in Bulgaria, and that's what testament to the, you know, the level of talent that you can find these of here. So it was natural for us to take advantage of of this, and you know, basically Bulgaria because high sedating the US my brother studying that islands we could have been this elsewhere, but we needed to do it there because it's a very capital intensive project. New three-car sweetly smart people in we were able to find this it Bulgaria a five tastic store absolutely live that she announced the plex one. What being the hanalei, and what kind of reaction have you had today? Will we announced the black swan several years ago almost as soon as we started, and, you know, a lot of startups they people it's part of their journey. They started one idea, but then they hear feedback and they need to be adapt readjust reform reformat where the only company in spaces his never changed what they started with. Because you just has so much traction. We twelve people need from the very beginning. We focused on aircraft that these cheap to produce cheap to operate and can carry the size of a small delivery van. So we just did a research. Early on and quite well. And we it it keeps being confirmed by people from over the industry. We are I add this only strategic partner for domes in the whole world, which is quite with cement as well. And we'll be testing we EasyJet next year in the UK and several big airlines in Asia and Africa. So in terms of commercial partnerships. I'm under some heavy NDA's. But I can tell you that there's quite a few people in both ecommerce and airline world that very excited at the prospect of running an operation like that. Wow. Sounds like we're going to have to keep in to get you back on air in a few months on NDA's complaint. You from talking about the real exciting stuff said we will have to get you back on. Hello. But will issue a grand vision for genomics over the next few years. Our multiple is delivering today. Right. We. Want the world where you can have anything delivers today because when you look at what's online, the online revolution has built like Amazon and everyone else the offer tremendous variety. Right. The long tail things you cannot find in your neighborhood store. You can order them with a click. But then the challenge has always been fulfillment. Delivering that. Because the moment you make capricious. The money's out of your accounts already is continuously. But you don't have the goods unless they're, you know, unless you to kindle order, but in the physical world the good steak time to get delivered. And I think that's something that people especially in our generation are increasingly intolerant of waiting. So we want everything on the man we won't everything today. There's a lot of benefits again in having same-day delivery. When you think how you know someone in a big city in in those centers of commerce that are, you know, soaking older economic par- from from data parts of the country. They have all these services that can make your life so much easier, and you, you know, time is only resource we cannot buy so we all have the same life expectancy. But if you're going to see you can do so much more if you have to wait for everything to come around are you leaving to the fullest, then ride then why should you be again punished for the fact that you've chosen? To live in place is not San Francisco these not long. He's not, you know, New York. So the world that we seize that's one where people are able to finally, you know, apply their talents and take a hit on their quality of life. Just by having chosen to live in a place that has a thousand people or ten thousand people with a huge. Thank you for joining me today before to let you go could you just plant that listeners in the direction of your website social channels and how to convey chat in contact mobile tame, if any additional questions about everything we've talked about today. Well, we have a website. It's dawn AmEx dot com. If you are interested, they can leave leave us a note over there. They can drop us an Email. It's high dynamics dot com. We'll be very happy to get your over station because it's a big vision. And it needs all the help. It can get we know that this is the future. We know that this is where the world is headed. But we just want to get there faster because we always do to the word than everyone. This becomes a reality sooner. So it's all these quality of life improvements can happen today. Not tomorrow not in five years. Nothing ten years on a think you're going to do just that because I'm not just saying this, but from everything the off site and the video the plaque swan. He's no old me driving like I said a few moments ago, so that craft could fundamentally change the shipping industry. And that is something I love about what you have your leveraging technology to do that. So I've lived to stay in, touch, and we'll get you back on in a few months when some of those NDA's have been lifted but more than anything too big. Thank you for taking the time to come and speak with me today. So thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you Neo. Thank you to everyone listening and like I said drone AmEx com. Doxa line. We're happy to chat. Thank you. How cold is? The black swan unmanned aircraft lowering. The cost of shipping in emerging markets. It's fully and semi autonomous fuel-efficient and satellite. Connective -ly L incredibly powerful and valuable how tech is solving real world problems all over the world. Not to mention the huge partnerships waiting in the wings. So for the pull now, you know, I call them help myself, but seriously, another what they're doing, and I'm going to be following this very closely. I also looked hearing about the startup coach in Bulgaria too. Because a it's so important that these stories get told this technology is changing the world all over the world not just in Silicon Valley. So if you're listening and thinking there's not enough stories being shared about the great work being done in tech startup community is in your part of the world. Please let me know all about an old love to get you on the show to and tell me the difference that your city is making to the world of tech to and you shouldn't have all the contact details off by heart Nabet, one more time tech, blogger dot co dot UK Email. Hi, tech Braga to outlook dot com, Twitter, Instagram linked teen. Let's look for Neil c Hughes. So on the blog post, the accompanies these podcast episode. I will post videos of black swan eighteen actions, you can kind of see the huge difference. It's gonna make put that's it. For today's episode. So oldest left for me to say, he's a big warm. Thank you for listening to this day. We tech podcast until next on though, be estrangement. Thanks for listening to the tag blow Royce uphold cost until next time. Remember technology is best when it brings people together.