Autonomous Vehicle Drone Park

Edwardsville, IL


Conceptual Design


  • 21.5 acre site fully covered with mesh material to contain the drones.
  • Three-level, 54,000 s.f. facility includes fabrication and repair shop, laboratories, classrooms, faculty office and meeting space.
  • Pickup and delivery options using land and air-based drones.
  • Landing areas cantilever off the facility allowing opportunities for drones to land.
  • Glass silo with an aperture roof and lift will allow drones to land and access each level of the facility.
AAIC staff interacted with key members of the facility at SIUE and SLU to develop the design.  Dr. Nima Lofti of the SIUE School of Engineering provided the following description/intention of the project.
The proposed facility will create a space for experts to come together to work across sectors to produce new opportunities to reap the full potential of autonomy through an integrative urban/rural research complex.  This project will be designed to study how we create Autonomous Systems across sectors, breaking down some of the research silos that currently exist, thus answering a more global need. Exploration of this Convergence, which we are confident, is the next logical step in this field to autonomy as we face our ever-changing future.  This research plan envisions a smart and autonomous future, where robots and artificial intelligence are used to enhance not replace human performance and to fill needs where human capital is not otherwise available; it will be guided by an understanding that sectors share many of the same interests and challenges related to the future of autonomy in our society; it will value the understanding that there are research efficiencies and creative solutions that can come from breaking down silos and creating a systemic understanding of what this future can look like; and it will ensure that we balance innovation with safety for all these systems that will be guided and used by people every day, in ways yet unimagined.