Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Is This The Future Of Pizza Delivery?

When pizzas fly: Domino's DomiCopter Delivers
June 5, 2013 - Drones are not inherently bad. They are a tool, and like any tool they can be used for good or evil. Not all drones carry missiles. Thanks to Domino's, at least one drone carries pizza.

The "DomiCopter" drone was created by T + Biscuits, a UK creative digital agency in Shoreditch. They came up with the clever idea for client Domino's. The a husky little drone can carry a hot delivery bag swiftly to a customer's front door. Or 40th floor balcony. T + Biscuits says this about their work with Domino's:

"The DomiCopter is a project we worked on with Domino’s Pizza AeroSight, a UK based drone specialist and Big Communications. We were looking at innovative ways to deliver pizza and thought, ‘what is cooler than a flying pizza?’.. it turns out not much. The response we have had so far has been great and so far it has featured on NBC, MSN and a number of other large organisations. The video has had 17,000+ views in just under 12 hours and our emails have been going mad with inquiries as to when people may be getting their food delivered by the DomiCopter. You will have to just wait and see…. and then wait."

Let's see that cool video of the DomiCopter, shot in the UK:

"When tested," writes RedAlert Politics, "the pizza-toting drone was able to deliver two large pepperoni pizzas four miles in as little as 10 minutes in the town of Guildford, right outside of London, England. The DomiCopter, featuring eight spinning blades, was piloted from land by an expert drone pilot. Nestled safely in a standard red thermal insulation bag, the pizza arrived intact and ready to be devoured."

We don't expect to get a pizza delivered by DomiCopter soon, however. How would the little drone stand up to strong winds? The video above was shot on a calm day. The pizza bag didn't look very secure, with no visible straps holding it in the cargo area. (Wouldn't a basket be better?) And will future DomiCopters be outfitted with self-defense capabilities to protect against drunks, dogs and competing pizza delivery services?

There are legal obstacles, too, you see. PCMag reports that a U.S.-based Domino's spokesman told CNN that they have no plans for a drone-based delivery system in the States. Why not? "Currently, there are no means to obtain an authorization for commercial [unmanned aircraft] operations," according to the FAA. We'll hold out for the prospect of getting a pizza delivered to us via 3D fax some day.

T + Biscuits might want to consult with FPS Russia, who produced the video of a machine gun toting drone below. (Advisory: Language, Russian accent)