Jedsy was originally founded in 2021 under the name Delivery Glider AG in Switzerland by aerospace engineer Herbert Weirather and triple aerobatic helicopter world champion Mirko Cesena. The two of them aimed to revolutionise the drone industry with their high-end multipurpose Jedsy Glider, which was built to fulfil their motto: "Delivery where it matters, when it matters".
The organisation currently specialises in healthcare, emergency and courier services.
The Jedsy Glider is capable of delivering payloads in challenging terrains, remote locations and areas with inadequate infrastructure. They are also the first company to enable direct drone docking to windows or balconies, expediting medical supply deliveries. They believe this approach will offer a sustainable, long-term solution crucial to improving urgent delivery during life-saving situations.
In December 2021, Jedsy also established a manufacturing operation in Malawi to develop Gliders and Mailboxes. In late 2022, the organisation began a partnership with Malawi's Ministry of Health to deliver blood, samples and medical supplies across northern Malawi.
The Jedsy team currently has 16 members based in their headquarters in Switzerland with other developers located around the world. They also have 10 people located in Malawi for their airborne operations in the region and to do maintenance and assembly.
Herbert originally grew up in Liechtenstein and in Switzerland, so the decision to found his start-up in one of the two companies was a practical one. Switzerland offers a much better environment for investors, so start-ups find success with their funding rounds more readily.
Herbert also said that he thinks “Switzerland is kind of a Silicon Valley of drones and super innovative.” It was an easy decision for him to found the company here, even though his current operational growth will be focused on testing in Malawi, which needs to conduct 1,000 incident-free flights before the same operation can be tested in Switzerland.
He would also like to begin operating in more urban areas, as current operations are focused in sparsely populated locations. This would come before the ultimate goal of expanding their services across Europe.
Herbert Weirather explained that Jedsy also produces and designs their drones with eco-friendly material to help reduce, if not eliminate, the climate impact that would otherwise be caused through traditional laboratory deliveries, which normally involves a heavy vehicle delivering only 10 grams of blood samples.
According to Jedsy, drone deliveries are more eco-friendly than cars for several reasons. Drones have up to 94% lower energy consumption per package compared to other vehicles, which is crucial in combating climate change. Moreover, some drones use renewable energy, reducing fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions.
Cars, on the other hand, contribute significantly to air pollution, with some emitting around 112g of CO2 per kilometre, while drones produce only about 3g of CO2 per kilometre. Although there are ongoing efforts to promote zero-emission or low-carbon fuel vehicles, drones currently offer a more environmentally-friendly solution for deliveries on top of their abilities to avoid traffic and navigate difficult terrain or locations without reliable infrastructure.
Most drone delivery companies are currently focusing on getting the delivery to the front door, but Herbert told us that he wanted medical drone delivery to live up to a higher standard than having the packages delivered in the mud in wide-open areas (potentially in the dark). An additional obstacle that medical staff face when receiving drone deliveries is the size of their facilities, which can sometimes take long periods of time to walk.
For example, if a laboratory was located 10 to 15 minutes from the front entrance, it means someone would need to walk that distance each time a delivery was made. Instead of receiving a notification to be prepared for an upcoming delivery like some food services do, Jedsy decided to create window and balcony landing pads with a specialised mailbox at the top of the drone to allow hospital staff to access the lab deliveries without needing to leave that area of the hospital.
The idea was based on flower pots, which have often been mounted to people’s windows and balconies. There were, however, a few challenges that the team had to overcome, according to Herbert. For example, if the hospital staff were under a certain height, they weren’t able to reach the deliveries, so they had to raise where the mount was to make it more accessible for people who were shorter.
Herbert Weirather, an entrepreneur and aerospace engineer, is an experienced professional with a strong background in the drone industry. As a pilot and founder of three companies, he has extensive knowledge and a passion for drones. Herbert completed his Space and Aviation Engineering degree at the Technical University of Munich and founded his first company, HW Aviation AG, in 2013. He worked closely with the Red Bull Air Race during this time.
In 2016, Herbert established Drone Champions AG, where he and his team organised high-profile drone events at locations worldwide, such as the Great Wall of China and the Champs-Elysee in Paris. These events were broadcast on TV in over 70 countries, making Drone Champions AG the first high-tech company to introduce hybrid sports, allowing players to qualify for real events via a computer game on various platforms.
After selling his shares in Drone Champions AG, Herbert founded Jedsy, where he currently serves as CEO. He is focused on developing the most advanced package delivery drone in terms of noise, user experience and cost efficiency. Herbert's expertise and passion for drones have greatly influenced the Jedsy team, making him an expert in the field.
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