Startup MANNA Flies into the Drone Delivery Skies

A drone startup is ready to deliver the goods to Silicon Valley – from the sky.

MANNA Robotics last week announced the launch of a drone delivery system. The project began five years ago when current MANNA CEO Eric Smalls envisioned a new robotic delivery plan that would integrate several technologies into one system.

He said at that time:

“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.”

With this idea in hand, Smalls raised $400,000 in funding and is now looking for the next round via an initial crowdfunding offering.

Using DJI and Skysense UAV technology – among others – the MANNA system will provide instant deliveries via cargo drones to customers in Silicon Valley and eventually, the company says, across the globe.

MANA’s core technology, Skyways, creates an Unmanned Traffic Management system and integrates apps such as aerial photography suite Candid; Zoom – a 4-D racing platform; as well as two surveying apps – Inspector (public safety) and Blossom (agriculture).

Smalls is also developing a blockchain-based coin (also called MANNA) that he calls a Universal Postage Stamp.

A company blog describes the system:

“Using MANNA to facilitate transactions in a decentralized delivery network resolves the prisoner’s dilemma for commercial deliveries at scale. MANNA provides a single unifying protocol for sending and receiving physical mail unlike email which generally requires multiple protocols to complete a transaction. In addition, MANNA can be used to allow secure deliveries without requiring parties to reveal their locations to each other.”

“Because the drone provides decentralized assurance through smart contracts and digital keys, this system enables players to transact in new and exciting ways. For example, in P2P markets like Craigslist and Openbazaar the logical process above provides trustworthy exchanges at a lower-cost and across longer distances. On the other hand, in credit-based markets like Amazon and eBay, this system increases efficiency with faster deliveries and lower-costs for the consumer, enabling new possibilities like a ‘try me!’ marketplace and virtual storefronts while reducing the high costs of returning an item.”


Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content. He has won several media awards over the years and has since expanded his expertise into the organizational and educational communications sphere.

In addition to his proficiency in the field of editing and writing, Jason has also taught communications at the university level and continues to lead seminars and training sessions in the areas of media relations, editing/writing and social media engagement.

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