Santa sleigh & drone

We were asked by The Drone Company to make a sleigh that could be fixed to one of their drones for Vodafone to control the first UK drone drop, remote gift delivery, entirely over their 4G mobile network. The sleigh had to be less than 10 kilos, and include a box that could hold gifts. 

 

What we had to do

We knew that this would be a challenge, so we provided the client with drawings of a prototype that helped us work out how to make it work, and also gave the client confidence that the final product would meet their expectations. After a few tweaks and design input from the end client, we began by sculpting the main shape in polystyrene. We had to be aware of the drone that we would be fitting the sleigh to, making sure that the weight didn’t go over 10 kilos, and also making sure that it fit snugly to the drone.

So how did we do it?

To make sure that the sleigh fit correctly we were sent the drone so that we could test it out. The body of the sleigh fit nicely but we were concerned that the weight might go over 10 kilos, especially once we had fitted everything to it, and especially with a box underneath, which had to be water proof and have a hinged door, but at the same time still be lightweight. We used 3mm PVC and 9mm plywood to make sure there was enough integral strength to make the box, while at the same time keeping its weight down. As we’d sculpted the main body with polystyrene, we had to protect it and also give a nice smooth finish, so we hard-coated it with a thin fibreglass tissue. This gave a certain amount of durability, it made it weather proof, and gave a nice smooth finish, and, most importantly, kept the weight down.

The result

 

The sleigh was painted with Vodafone’s red colour and we added printed vinyl. We made wrapped gift boxes to fix to the sleigh, and the client wanted LED lights to give the sleigh more of a Christmassy feel, so we placed white LED’s around the top of the sleigh and red ones around the box.