NAPERVILLE — You can build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door, Ralph Waldo Emerson noted in the late 19th century.
More than 100 years later, Ryan Walsh is building a better mailbox so the world’s goods can be delivered to your door.
The Naperville man and partner Alexander Falesch co-invented the Smart Drone Delivery Mailbox, a receptacle that replaces the traditional mailbox in front of people’s homes to allow drones to land for package delivery and pickup.
The two men in 2017 co-founded Valqari, a start-up focused on the ensuring packages that arrive at a destination safely remain secured and out of the elements until the recipient retrieves them from the box.
In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled plans for a drone delivery system and since then companies such as Google, UPS and DHL have joined the race to be the among the first distribute packages via drone.
“I saw a gap in the market,” Walsh said. “In 2013, we saw that no one else had developed this technology, which is why it was critical for us to put a stake in the ground by immediately applying for utility patents to make us the only smart mailbox option for commercial and residential use.
“We knew the biggest hurdle facing drone delivery was that there was no standardized, safe and secure landing area. This gave us a clear vision from the start that our mission would be to provide the missing piece to the last stage drone delivery process,” he said.