The U.S. Marine Corps has collaborated with companies to develop a supply delivery system that uses unmanned aerial vehicles, GCN reported Thursday.
The Hive Final Mile project, a joint program of the Marine Corps’ Next Generation Logistics arm and the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office, seeks to automate the delivery of cargo to troops.
The initiative includes a mobile application that processes orders; an automated drone launcher called the Hive; a software that works to select UAVs and manage flights automatically; and a cloud platform that helps monitor orders and flights.
Orders for available items are placed through the Android Tactical Assault Kit mapping app, which submits requests to the Sentien Robotics-built Shepherd software that is designed to choose the right UAV.
Shepherd also works to automate flight deconfliction for all aircraft.
Drones are launched automatically from the Hive, a trailer designed to carry 18 hobbyist-sized UAVs and recharge unmanned aircraft after deliveries.
A Salesforce-made government cloud environment receives all flight information from Shepherd and shows flight times, order information, locations and other data to users.
Marine Reserves Maj. Christopher Thobaben said the Marine Corps wants to further develop the Hive to accommodate thousands of UAVs in the future.