Urban Ray – Logistics in the third dimension

January 7, 2022

Making last-mile parcel delivery in urban areas possible with drones in a truly autonomous and automated way. Urban Ray envisions that, is technically strong and has a clear plan. Thanks to Cem and enjoy the interview down below!

Urban Ray develops innovative UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and autonomously operating ground infrastructure

Tell us about yourself and Urban Ray

Hi! I am Cem, co-founder at Urban Ray. We aim to offer deliveries by air in city centers by combining the speed and flexibility of drones with automated landing and storage stations.

Previously, I studied aerospace engineering at RWTH Aachen University and pursued various extracurricular activities such as engaging myself in student associations or founding a startup. Experiences that now help me a lot at Urban Ray.

What is Urban Ray currently working on?

Right now, we are working on our proof of concept (PoC). We develop proprietary drones and ground stations. Delivering a good by air from point A to point B is easily demonstrated and something that other organizations have already done.

We aim to demonstrate the automated interaction between a drone and a ground station, i.e. the handling and storage of the respective package, the swapping and charging of batteries, and the pickup terminal.

Our PoC will be achieved in Q1 2022. We will be able to show how an automated delivery network can look like, and all of that with early funding of only 100k.

Founders of Urban Ray: Cem Uyanik, Fabian Binz and Henry Schmidt

Please highlight one aspect of your technology or business model

The most important aspect of our business model is that we want to offer a highly efficient delivery network for the last mile. Efficiency in this regard is reached by using the lower unused airspace for direct routes without traffic and by reducing the human factor.

Our drones have a unique design and are developed with a great focus on safety, speed, and noise-reducing technologies. These characteristics enable us to build a system that is capable of operating overpopulated areas at high speeds while staying unnoticed.

In combination with our ground stations, the whole delivery process can be automated to a degree that almost no human interaction is needed, making it scalable in both applications and capacity and therefore economically viable.

After optimizing our fleet and routing, we will be able to quickly and quietly deliver goods of any kind, e.g. biomedical samples, consumer goods, or spare parts, with zero operating emissions and at low costs.

Tell us about your experiences in Aachen. For example, in terms of the innovation ecosystem or your student's life

Aachen provides a unique environment for students. Next to your studies, you can engage yourself in different student associations to develop new skills. In these, you can build new things like robots and planes, or you can simply network and train yourself in soft skills. Therefore, it is not much of a surprise that many innovative ideas emerge in Aachen.

Most of them are tech-based and tackle major issues of our society. Different organizations support you on your journey, especially during the early stages. RWTH Innovation and digitalHUB Aachen are the main points of contact. You can get access to networks of investors, potential customers, workspace, and other funding opportunities.

We enjoyed great support from them so far and were able to meet other amazing founders. Overall, Aachen is a great place to learn, build, and connect.

Tell us about your favorite products, tools, life hacks in daily life

Truth be told, many different products can help you boost your productivity, but in the end, you just have to do it. This famous Nike slogan describes the essence of building something new.

Founding and growing a startup is incredibly hard, and even if you can help yourself by talking to experienced founders and coaches or by reading management books, it stays hard. In general, you need to excel at a job at which you learn by doing.

First and foremost, I think, you have to trust your gut feeling. If you think that everything is still worth it even though everyone tells you to try simpler things, then you are still growing strong.

Next, you have to think about your mental and physical health, because these are prerequisites for following your journey until the end. Here, I recommend implementing regular workouts during the week. It doesn’t have to be some fancy sport like boxing, but do something, even if it is just Yoga in your room after waking up. You need physical activity!

Regarding your mental health, find slots to keep your mind off work. For me, meditation and reading help a lot. Do not force it! If it does not become a habit, try a different method, because otherwise the whole calming-your-mind-process will always stay stressful, which kind of loses its purpose. Do not worry, something will eventually become a habit.

And then, you can think of products and tools that increase your productivity. Unfortunately, there is no ultimate life hack for building a startup. Just do it.

Finally, I also wanted to say

That I am incredibly proud of the entire Urban Ray team. It has been an amazing journey so far, and I am looking forward to finally seeing our drones in the skies of city centers.

Follow us on social media like LinkedIn, or Instagram

If you are interested in joining us, email us at work@urban-ray.com. We are happy to hear from you!

End 🟩

Media, including images and photos, are provided by the interviewee if not otherwise stated.
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