What I find most interesting about these videos is what they DON'T show. The last couple of seconds of the Domino's video implies that you just reach out and grab your lunch from the midst if eight furiously-spinning razor-sharp propellers! Can you imagine how this might turn out?
There's another way to look at this too- If you want a free Octocopter, just order pizza and have it sent to the vacant house down the street. Then as it comes down to deliver the payload, sneak up on it from behind and throw a blanket over it.
Here's a quadcopter bike
Our air control system has enough trouble managing the (relatively few) big airplanes on defined routes. Ubiquitous copters on random paths will be a nightmare. As these things become common and hobbyists adapt their own, we have the potential for small misguided devices to bring down hot air balloons and landing aircraft.
Thinking about a whole traffic jam of these copters flying around makes me think about the Bruce Willis movie The Fifth Element, where he was the a flying taxicab driver. Traffic management in 2 dimensions sounds like it would be a nightmare if the skies were crowded enough!
@kfield: Would 3x the price be worth it to have pizza delivered by drone?
Where did you get the 3X price from? Home delivery is already pretty expensive as compared to picking the pizza up oneself -- we do it for the convenience. During rush hour it can take 40 mins or more for the pizza to arrive, and our house is only about 2 miles away from the local Dominos as the crow (hex-copter) flies. I don't see how the drioen woudl cost more than paying for a delivery person -- plus there's the added advantyage that you wouldn't feel obliged to give a 20% tip.
@kfield: What, you mean, you tip your pizza delivery guy? :-)
I tip them 20% like I tip all wait-staff -- I always feel really lucky to be me and to not be working a less-than-minimum wage job and having to rely on the kindness of strangers type thing. There but for the grace of whoever is in charge of this crazy mixed-up multi-universe go you or I...
@betajet - So how much should one dip a quad-copter? Would 30 degrees be enough? :-)
That reminds me of the story of how President Truman fired General MacArthur. Truman and MacArthur went to a restaurant for lunch and Truman told MacArthur, "I'm tired of you not treating me with respect. You keep acting like I'm some unsophisticated yokel. A bumpkin, A rube. I'm the president dammit! I demand respect!"
MacArthur replied, "I'm sorry Mr. President. It won't happen again. To show there are no hard feelings, I'll pay the bill and you tip the waitress." When the waitress came by, Truman knocked over the waitress and MacArthur said,
@Max, yep, but I fear they would charge quite a bit extra for the service and these folks are really price sensitive. Affluent suburbs in the US would welcome this probably but I can't see it catching up here in England.
Does anyone else think this is going to an awful lot of trouble just to deliver a Domino's pizza?
I guess the technology is appropriate for pizzas that don't taste that different after aging 20 minutes. But in my experience really good pizzas don't tolerate delivery.
Amusing bit of local pizza lore: When I lived in Northern Westchester County, just north of New York City, all of the pizza places were independent. But they all had the same carry-out box, which said:
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.