Many of my friends complain about the unreasonable prices ($5-7 delivery cost) of services like UberEats and GrubHub. We wanted to solve this problem with a scalable, low-cost program that uses drones to provide virtually zero-cost shipping options for major stores. This drone is not only more profitable, but also more reliable and has a faster shipping time.

What it does

To find a specific item, the user searches through a large database, prompting preliminary results. He or she selects one of these results and views products from local vendors selling this item. Once all the items are placed in the shopping cart, the user inputs his or her credit card information, allowing for the app to charge the card and place the order. After an order is placed, the drone will take a delivery from a nearby store, and deliver it to the user (at a set location) as soon as possible (or at a scheduled time). There is also an Alexa skill, which allows users to ask their Amazon Alexa to purchase specific goods.

How we built it

A basic blueprint of the User Interface layout was created in Adobe XD, which was later implemented into the iOS app in Xcode using Swift. Later, we used multiple APIs from local vendors, such as CVS and Walgreens to compile a list of items in AWS. Then, we edited the mobile app to allow users to search for certain goods they want to purchase. Afterwards, we used a combination of machine learning and backend techniques to craft the drone and search algorithms. We also employed the Google Maps to allow the drone to autonomously fly to the destination.

Challenges we ran into

Because of overused motors, our drone broke multiple times. This forced us through several hours of analyzing the drone and its gears and motors, eventually solving the overload. In addition, it took us a great amount of time to learn the structure of the stores' APIs and add the items into the AWS database.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of our fully-function drone as well as our app's user interface and experience. In both of these categories, we spent a great deal of time focusing the small details in order to improve the look, feel, and usage of the drone and app.

What we learned

We learned how to use a Raspberry Pi and run a fully functioning web browser and other services on it. We also grasped many new interface design elements and how to combine them for a beautiful application. In addition, we learned how to use several different APIs from different stores.

What's next for FlyBuy

In the future, with more time to implement new features, we hope to introduce this new feature to many stores across the nation and worldwide, allowing items to be easily and efficiently transported from vendors to consumers through FlyBuy.

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