While interning at UPenn’s GRASP Lab in 2012, Eric Smalls, now CEO of MANNA Robotics, began dreaming of inventing a drone delivery system. Later, in a prescient blog post to the Stanford Robotics Club, he said this, “The goal is to build and program a [drone], create a payload delivery system, and develop an app for the user that allows them to track and confirm their delivery. If successful, we will build an entire swarm of [drones] and expand to many more applications.” It’s been five years and $400K since that vision! Along the way, Eric was joined by many dreamers & doers like CTO, Sean Greenslade who helped run the Multidisciplinary Robotics Club at RIT. Now MANNA Robotics is ready to deliver on that promise and introduce their flagship product MANNA to the Valley, and to the World as a transportation revolution not merely as a novelty. Eric is about to share why drones, especially instant delivery by cargo drones will positively change our lives. His message, “Manna from Heaven” marks the company’s first press release and demos after emerging from stealth mode this year. Finally, the featured MANNA ICO represents the introduction of the first and only Universal Postage Stamps for Earth and Beyond.
It is fitting that one of the greatest places for invention in modern times is the birthplace of the Robotics revolution, one of the most significant waves of our century. Upon viewing the wonderful progress embodied in Silicon Valley, we have reason to be proud of the innovative spirit of our neighbors. All around us are examples which testify to the willingness to learn the laws of Nature and bring the peoples of the World together. They prove our ability to realize the dreams of our ancestors. Currently, we are on the verge of launching a new industry based on imagination, knowledge, and careful work. We are now ready to fulfill the promise made to the public on August 29th, 2016, when after years of regulatory reform, laboratory experiments, and tests in the field, the FAA announced that commercial drone applications, including advanced ones like drone delivery, would be made legal with the opening of the Part 107 Rule. Following long years of patient experimenting and ingenious invention at MANNA Robotics, drone delivery is finally ready to leave the nest. I applaud their amazing work and those of other roboticists both here and abroad, whose efforts contributed to popularizing this nascent Industry.
“When goods don’t cross borders, bombs do.”
Today, MANNA Robotics is announcing the first sale of our Universal Postage Stamp, MANNA. Soon instant deliveries by cargo drones will arrive in the hands of customers in Silicon Valley and globally to the public. A new revolution, which eventually will provide goods and services for billions and fertile ground for the aspirations of numerous people, is coming of age! Yet we have not done this alone and this is only the beginning. Thanks to the Invisible Hand, our work alongside that of Waves, DJI, Skysense, Airbox, Doordash, and Ike’s Place to name a few have made this all possible. This miracle of imagination, business & engineering, which one step at a time will deliver the world to the home, also brings a new American industry to serve humanity's material & spiritual needs. It is a revolution which shimmers like a beacon of hope in a turbulent world. In less than a decade, the Internet and Computer revolutions have provided new work for millions of men & women, and supported us economically by causing the flow of billions of dollars annually. Drones and the Robotics revolution looks to follow their parent’s path and inherit their virtue and impact—creating the first trillion dollar companies, and becoming an essential part of American life. Soon, drone deliveries will be more commonplace than traditional package deliveries. Also, as a transportation system, drones will supplement long-haul delivery by bringing to the home the goods which up to now have come there by a ton of metal and brute force.
Our core technology, Skyways, provides Unmanned Traffic Management to ensure millions of drones soar safely in the heavens. But drones can do much more than just deliver packages. Our current app list includes: Candid, aerial cinematography which enables drone journalism and fun selfies; Zoom, 4D-racing which will introduce a whole generation to high-technology first hand; Inspector, infrastructure inspection which will provide critical public safety; and Blossom, agricultural surveying which can help farmers grow fresher and healthier food. Ultimately, drones can offer a more efficient way to travel on Earth by enabling Pegasus, your on-demand flying car. And last but not least, Scout swarms will explore and terraform other planets like Mars. In dedicating Silicon Valley as the home of a new Industry we have in mind the conception of a great revolution which will benefit our economic life and highest ideals. The drones flying about us today and millions to follow will serve to bring about these incredible returns and foster these dreams. They represent the Future of Drones and the World to come–see you there!
Eric Christian Smalls (Droneboy)
CEO, MANNA Robotics mannarobotics.ai
P.S. Special thanks to our CTO, Sean Greenslade (Zootboy), the entire MANNA Robotics team, our Heroes, and loyal Investors! ❤
P.P.S. We will post updates on this blog about our ICO and upcoming iOS App release!
Cover Image Source: “The Miracle of Manna” by Jacopo Tintoretto (1577)