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‘This really is history’: World’s first smart mailbox in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — The city of Lawrence is opening its doors to new technology for mail delivery. On Monday, traditional postal mail was delivered to the world’s first smart mailbox.

The smart mailbox can receive or send food, medicine, groceries, and more.

“We’ve talked to the Guinness World Book Records and others, so this really is history today, and you guys are all seeing it,” Founder and CEO of Dronedek, Dan O’Toole, said.

The City of Lawrence is welcoming the next generation mailbox with open arms.

“When nobody else was thinking about it, I ran to the patent office, and I ended up beating Amazon by just nine days, beat the U.S. Postal Service by two weeks, and others, so that’s why we’re able to be here today,” O’Toole said.

“I love the fact that we’re becoming known as a tech campus,” the Mayor of Lawrence, Steve Collier, said.

The smart mailbox, owned by Dronedek, has a landing pad with sensors for the drone to drop off an item. It’s climate controlled, has remote access and Bluetooth, and offers security and theft prevention.

The user can unlock the drone docking station by using a code, a keypad, or through the phone app. The drone used on Monday for the first mail drop is owned by the company A2Z drone delivery.

“We’re the deck in ‘Dronedek’, so we, no matter who’s bringing the material, whether it’s by regular delivery or drone, or automated vehicle, it’ll always end up in our drone deck,” the CRO of Dronedek, Brian Grigsby, said.

Schneider Geospatial, a software company based in Lawrence, plans to use the mail delivery system and says it’ll make a positive impact.

“We get deliveries occasionally. We get delays. We get a laptop delivered on a Saturday. They leave it on our porch. Sometimes it’s there (and) sometimes it’s not, so the idea of a secure delivery [is good],” the President of Schneider Geospatial, Jeff Corns, said.

O’Toole says they are hopeful more of these smart mailboxes will soon be available and this could turn into a lot of different job opportunities moving forward.

“We’re creating 85 new jobs in Indianapolis, and they’ve stepped up and given us a great tax credit for that, and so we’re a story of growth and we want to give back and we want to make things better for everybody,” O’Toole said.

There will also be a Dronedek mailbox outside the Mexican restaurant La Hacienda and the software company Bloomerang.