Workhorse Group Inc., an American technology company providing electric vehicles to the last-mile delivery sector, has expanded its patent portfolio through a recently filed provisional application for its HorseFly Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).
The patents include several of the system's key components and capabilities, including its ground control station, winch deliveries and aircraft structure.
The HorseFly UAS delivers parcels, carries sensors and cameras, and operates autonomously. The HorseFly was designed to deliver about 80% of most commercial package sizes, shapes, and weights while carrying a five-pound payload up to 10 miles.
According to Workhorse, the HorseFly system's success has been demonstrated through real-world commercial deliveries, flying autonomously from truck-top operations in U.S. airspace, in a process that meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight standards.
The aircraft's design allows users to select different delivery methods including air drops, winch deliveries from various altitudes, and ground deliveries.
"In the last several months we have seen significant and growing interest in our vehicle-launched HorseFly delivery drone, making the need to expand the HorseFly patent portfolio even more critical," said Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes.
"We believe this increased consideration is a direct result of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the recognition that new methods of delivery are quickly becoming essential. Additionally, we are hearing from many businesses that this transition is not a temporary one, and that we need to adapt to a new normal.”