Recently, a Mumbai based pizza outlet was in the news for using unmanned drone to execute a delivery. They delivered the pizza 1.5 km away in a successful test run as claimed in a video of the event that went viral. It was supposed to be a 13 inch plain margherita pizza, dropped on the 21st floor, before taking off for the return journey. The pizza outlets who guarantee 30 minutes delivery or free pizza will now have to revise it to maybe 3 minutes.
The news had the authorities fuming. Police authorities said they can’t have things flying in the air and they needed not only police permission but also clearance from Air Traffic Control at Mumbai airport. After grabbing headlines for some days, when it became too hot to handle, the pizza management confessed that the entire experiment was a hoax and that they had made the video using trick photography.
Yet, drones are used in India, for instance, at the Panna Tiger Reserve for keeping track of tigers and deterring poachers. They are used to shoot aerial videos and photographs by filmmakers and television channels, besides at the great Indian wedding.
The scope for delivery by drone is quite large. Why restrict to pizza, not surely the most popular dish of the masses? Why not deliver idli dosa and vada pao? This could be a lifeline for Udipi hotels who are finding themselves unviable. Imagine Hotel Ramdev sending onion uttapam via drone to Mrs.Shetty at Dadar. On hearing the sound, mom says, “Beta, go to the balcony and collect the pizza.” Done. After some time, aunty goes to the balcony and is shocked by the sight of the drone still hovering around. “Eeks, why is this thing not going away?” Simple. You haven’t paid him. His return trip is activated only when he senses cash.
DCS- Drone courier service. The fastest courier service you can imagine. The package reaches the recipient even before you have put the phone down. The unique advantage over normal couriers is that the drone will first try to deliver to your house or office. If you are not in, it will access the GPS signals from your mobile and search you out, whether you are at a friend’s place, at the kitty party or hmm…somewhere else with someone, but, wherever thou art, the drone shall hover over your head till you accept the package.
DTS- Drone Transport service. Avoid traffic snarls, pot holed roads and fly straight to your destination. Wherever you want to go, buy an online ticket and wait for the drone, much like hailing one of those cab services. You won’t be allowed any luggage, maybe just a brief case and a laptop to be kept on top of the drone. You have to hold both your hands and the drone will lift you up (weight limited to 150. kg) . You are advised not to look down while the drone is in motion.
At the mundane level, crows, seen to be flicking a piece from the fish basket would now get the better option of a bite from the special pizza with tandoori toppings flying on top of a drone.
Considering the furore generated by a small drone, I am now scared to open the package containing the remote controlled toy helicopter gifted to my daughter. Maybe, I have to take permissions from the police, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Indian Air Force ….