Why delivering fast food by drones won’t get off the ground…

Holy Hamburgers Batman, have you heard the rumour? Marketers claim drones will soon be delivering Kung Pao chicken, Meat-lovers family size, or a Whopper with fries, direct to our door. Well not the Bat Cave, but the front door of your mansion.

No I don’t want fries with that…

There’s nothing better than a technology prediction. Who knows if it will come true, it’s just fun making up the future. But this prediction may have some wings, so to speak, and with apologies to Red Bull.

We’ve all seen how drones have changed the way countries wage war. But drones are also changing the way lifesavers monitor and rescue people stranded in the surf. In India, hospitals are using drones to avoid the traffic and deliver vital organs for transplant. Similar organ deliveries are also being considered for the Australian outback. Even football teams use drones to record a match from overhead, so the video can be used for training purposes.

drone delivery of vital organs

Drones have become so popular, you can rarely go for a walk at night without spotting a pair of glowing green eyes floating nearby. I first thought they were owls on meth, but then realised it was just kids having fun, and not the government spying on the public…that wouldn’t happen, would it?

Companies like Amazon, Domino’s and others have started experimenting with home delivery by drone. Domino’s successfully made a home delivery of a pizza with a single trial in New Zealand. It has also trialed a robotic unit (DRU) in Australia. I reckon the unit should be named DRU2D2, in deference to Star Wars.

Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU)

While this is all very exciting and futuristic, I do suspect the drone delivery of fast food may not get off the ground. The reason is simple – teenage boys (and possibly their fathers). There is hardly a lad who wouldn’t love to knock a pizza-carrying drone out of the sky and claim the pizza for themselves. You could say that anyone who had the ability to do so, deserves their pizza reward.

I’ve had discussions with teenagers planning their own prototype drone gun. It will fire a small rotating net. The net hits the drone and jams the rotors. The drone plunges to earth (dangerously of course) and the lads recover the drone. They grab the pizza or Kung Pao and have themselves a take-away meal. Excuse the pun. Though I suspect any teenager who can use a decent slingshot could probably bring one down.

One pizza coming up…

But these kids may not have to invent their own gun, as one has already been built for them. It’s called The DroneGun (obviously) and the website says:

The DroneGun Tactical was made to help keep the increasing number of flying robots in check. It weighs 15 pounds and sends jamming frequencies that cut a drone’s video-streaming at a range of up to 1,094 yards. The signal also sends the unwanted drone back to its starting point or forces it to land on the spot. And the new Drone Gun Tactical is smaller than previous models, so there’s no need to lug around a backpack full of gear.

The DroneGun (meal acquirer)

Apparently the gun is only available to the military, but I suspect versions will become available to the general public before long. There will definitely be a demand, as privacy is a major issue, not to mention the sheer fun of knocking a drone out of the sky. There could be unexpected health benefits too. These guns might get boys off their butts and away from the PS4 as they roam the streets in search of lunch.

In an ironic twist on military drone use, the Chinese miltary has also started using drone guns to shoot down drones in metropolitan areas:

It seems that while there are many valuable uses for drones, the old adage applies to using drones for home delivery – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Gotta go. I need to order some home-delivered pizzas, as a bunch of my son’s mates are staying over after football today. If only I had a…

One comment

  1. Good one Mal. Have you thought of changing your moniker to “The not Futurist”.. As for the kids – we may have a new marketing buzzword (as if we need one…) “Fast Free Food”.. maybe with the health warning “May contain bits of plastic and lithium”

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