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Fact or Fiction – Flying Pizza?

Drone pizza delivery rumor circulates.

June 6, 2013
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Credited to a Domino’s Pizza franchise in the UK, a prototype or publicity stunt pizza delivery drone whizzes through the skies outside London to bring two pizzas to a waiting customer. While debates rage over whether it is real, whether Domino’s really intends to pursue the concept, and if it is even legal; there are some interesting questions for the logistics community.

The drone supplier, Aerosight, is an innovator in aerial photography, using unmanned video drones to capture stunning images and videos for film makers, advertising, and broadcast media. Just as the military have adapted surveillance drones to carry weapons, why not a civilian application to carry small packages?

The practicality of widespread use of drone delivery devices is limited. If the application were to become popular, it would drive congestion overhead with the potential for midair collisions – though having a beer copter and a pizza drone collide and rain down pizza and beer at a college campus event may be seen by many as a positive mishap. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of some real applications.

One very real “cargo” opportunity for the drones comes to mind in post disaster response. Flying a drone into a flood area can aid responders in locating victims and identifying those with the most critical needs – and then providing some relief. Such a drone might carry a communications device and some basic medical supplies (like insulin) that can help save lives.

A document drone might shuttle paperwork between remote locations at a port or a large terminal operation. At the same time, the camera can provide location verification on trailers and containers and a security check while enroute.

While we watch the skies for flying pizza, enjoy the video below (or click here) and feel free to add comments on how we might apply drones to other logistics problems. Keep in mind that until recently a commercial carrier making deliveries in space sounded fantastic – then came the SpaceX Dragon.

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