Delivering fresh food to someone's door is far from unusual, but delivering it by flying drone is another story entirely. A team of designers at Darwin Aerospace recently built the "Burrito Bomber," a UAV outfitted with a release mechanism and autopilot controls, so it can take food orders and air drop them at a person's location within minutes.
Using a Skywalker X-8 FPV/UAV Flying Wing for a frame, the group constructed a delivery mechanism out of a Quantum RTR Bomb System with a canister built from a 3-inch diameter mailing tube and some custom 3D printed parts. Navigation is handled by an ArduPilot control system, which the developers can use to set waypoints for the drone to follow on autopilot or manually control the aircraft using the video feed from a built-in camera.
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Orders are taken through a web app, which pinpoints a user's location and automatically creates a waypoint file for the drone to follow. Then an operator loads the burrito into the canister, uploads the waypoint file, and sends the bomber on its way. The canister holds and protects a 500 gram burrito and deploys an attached parachute when dropped, so the contents arrive in one edible piece at their destination.
It may sound like an implausible method of food delivery, but there's a real possibility that drones could ship packages in the near future. The United States Congress recently passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, part of which tasks the FAA with creating a set of regulations for commercial-use drones by September 2015.
It's doubtful that flocks of drones will take to the skies to drop off packages at that time, but this may be a hint, albeit a tongue-in-cheek one, of a future of unmanned cargo aircraft. If you want to make your own burrito delivery aircraft, Darwin Aerospace has detailed instructions along with 3D models and code on its website.
Check out the video below to see the quirky folks at Darwin Aerospace sending their Burrito Bomber out for a delivery.
Source: Darwin Aerospace