NOMINEES

Matternet
Community category

About

A new paradigm for transportation using a network of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Detailed Description:
Matternet Inc. is a startup based in Palo Alto, California, founded by Andreas Raptopoulos, Paola Santana, Dimitar Pachov and Darlene Damm. Matternet Inc. was formed after developing the fundamental business concepts as part of a team project at Singularity University during the summer of 2011. Meet the Singularity University project team here. Industrial and Vehicle design by Ido Baruchin.

Known drawbacks of design:
-

Website:
http://matternet.us

Designed in:
2011

Status of realization:
Prototype

Challenge(s):
Health, Mobility

Region of use:
Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America

Form/Impact/Context

Form
With Matternet, a rural villager can order medicine required using their mobile phone. Next, the medicine is loaded onto a UAV, also known as a “grasshopper”. The grasshopper is sent to the villager and navigates the precise drop-off point – aided by a beacon transmitted from a landing pad at the destination. This ambitious idea will be rolled out in three phases: I: Capable of transporting 1-2 kilograms of cargo will be “aircraft kits” including plug-in charges and a quadracopter drone, or grasshopper. II: Solar-powered stations recharge autonomous aircraft capable of transporting 50 – 100 kilograms of cargo. III: Networks of grasshoppers expand and overlap. This AI driven infrastructure will integrate city and village and be able to transport 500 – 1000 kilograms of cargo.

Impact
Matternet, designed by an international team of business, design and engineering experts, is an ingenious solution to the problem of unequal access. Spawned from The Singularity University, it aims to create a roadless transportation network. Justine Lam, the Matternet project manager, explains, “we want to use a network of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) connected by robotic ground stations and an AI driven software system. We want to do what the Internet did for information but do that for physical things”.

Context
In Africa, there are fewer roads in the continent today than 30 years ago because of poor maintenance. Similarly, in Myanmar only 11.8% of the roads are paved and in Cambodia, only 20% of the roads are paved and in passable condition. Due to a lack of roads, ports, bridges and trains, it is estimated that one billion people have inadequate access to food, water, medicine, and other supplies. This exclusion extends to the exchange economies, in which those from geographically isolated communities are unable to connect to. Without access to social and economic systems, potential paths out of poverty remain blocked.

Business

Is the design protected by patent or ip registration?
Patent

How has the development of the design been financed hereunto?
Company development costs

Is there a plan for future investments?
Yes

Is there in-house competencies to secure market roll out of the design, with regards to investment, distribution, sales, etc.?
Yes

Credits

Designed by:
Andreas Raptopoulos and Paola Santana.

Title/Role:
Founders

Professional status of designer:
Professional

Nationality:
United States of America

City/Country of residence:
United States of America

Designed by:
Dimitar Pachov and Darlene Damm

Title/Role:
Founders

Professional status of designer:
Professional

Nationality:
United States of America

City/Country of residence:
United States of America