More civilian-friendly uses for remote aircraft
As we’ve discussed in past posts, drones are controversial. They can spy on people, and deliver lethal payloads, then zip off scot-free. But they could deliver medical benefits to remote locations, and analyze disaster sites, all of which are good things.
But most important of all, a drone could deliver pizza. Or any other food that’s relatively portable.
While the U.S. pizza chain Domino’s showed a video of a drone delivering a pizza that was nothing more than a publicity stunt, engineering students at the University of California, San Diego, figured out a way to get one to deliver a hot, cheesy, delicious (and fattening) payload.
Four students figured out how to get a pizza into a thin box, and then use a helicopter drone to move it at about 35 miles an hour. A combination of mapping software and GPS coordinates could show the drone the right route, and make the delivery to the right destination. The students figure the pizza can get to its destination faster, without burning as much fossil fuel. The students are quick to point out that their engineering project taught them something else about drones—with a large number of people controlling its flight and navigation (albeit remotely), a drone can scarcely be called “unmanned.”
There is one problem with drone delivery, though: high winds.
So, soon, it may be time to tell a drone to hold the anchovies. And the spy camera.
Sources: Gary Robbins/San Diego Union-Tribune, UC San Diego
Photo: UC San Diego/Erika Johnson
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