Client: Direct Line          Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

We were invited by Saatchi's to help them with an exciting technical project called "Fleetlights". Fleetlights an open source, prototype service that brings light to people in the darkest areas of the UK. The main focus of our involvement was to build a software solution to enable a user to interface with the Fleetlight drones. As well as being able to request and dismiss the service through the app we worked closely with Michael Obourne, author of the drone control software to develop a system which was responsive to the users movements.

In addition we helped in the factoring of the drones look and feel, manufaturing a physical casing shell for the fleetlight drones. 

Find out more: directline.com/fleetlights

 

The app was structured around a notification service set up between the users phone and a mission control centre. In this initial version, and as proof of concept, mission control was a drone controller who would process the information we send and dispatch the service.

The beauty of the app was in the simplicity of its UI. It was very important that a totally new service required an incredibly intuitive interface. 

On requesting the service we transmit the users gps location to mission control and notify the user that the service is active and on its way. Once the Fleetlights have arrived the app instructs the user to follow the service to their destination.

During the R&D phase we also investigated using the device to control the responsiveness of the drones. However it was quickly discovered that the latency and accuracy of the handsets gps communication caused unpredictable results. For the MVP the handsets role was proxied by a ground control unit which became part of an extended mesh network.

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As well as working on the software development we also worked with the hardware team and drone pilots to design the look of the fleetlights. 

We constructed a shell in cinema 4d and after creating a printed maquette we commissioned a full size plug to be produced on a cnc machine. 

From here the 15 shells were vacuum formed and sprayed ready for fitting to the drones.

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