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UCSD's Pizza Idea: Drone Delivery?
San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | JUNE 18, 2013 | Gary Robbins

Posted on 06/18/2013 9:47:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Yeah, but could it deliver your order in 30 minutes or less?

A handful of UC San Diego engineering students hungry to get in on the movement to design drones that can do something other than spy on people drafted plans for an autonomous vehicle that's meant to deliver hot pizza to customers up to five miles away.

"We want to deliver pizza faster, and to reduce the amount of gas that's now burned by delivery trucks and cars," says Humerto Sainz, one of the four students who came up with the design for a mechanical and aerospace engineering class at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering.

Currently, there are no plans to build the battery-powered drone; Sainz, Ngoc Nguyen, Ahmad Rahimi and David Long simply came up with the idea for a senior design class. But it wouldn't take much to produce a prototype. The team envisions placing pizza in a thin box that would be propelled through the air up to 35 mph by four small rotors. Software would calculate the most direct route from the pizza parlor to the customer. And a GPS system would direct the pizza to the person who ordered it. All the customer would have to do is tell the drone, via text message, that they were ready for delivery.

The drone would then zip back to the parlor to pick up another pizza.

At least, that's how things would work if everything went well. There are "issues." The drone's operators would have to make sure that the vehicle didn't rise above roughly 100 feet. Otherwise, they would be violating laws enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Weather also is a big concern, especially really, really strong winds," said Rahimi. "The drone would have to be stable in order for it to fly right."

The UCSD engineering team will have to get to work if they want to cash in on the idea. A Dominos franchise in the United Kingdom has already used a tiny autonomous helicopter to deliver a couple of pizzas during a flight test. The flight was a publicity stunt. But ingenuity isn't limited to pizza chains.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Food; Hobbies
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/18/2013 9:47:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

“The drone’s operators would have to make sure that the vehicle didn’t rise above roughly 100 feet. Otherwise, they would be violating laws enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration.”

100 feet? That’s a bunch of baloney. R/C airplanes can fly up to 400 feet.


2 posted on 06/18/2013 10:01:28 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: nickcarraway

Ahh the future of America!

What could possibly go wreong?


3 posted on 06/18/2013 10:16:47 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: nickcarraway

I propose jet powered tacos.


4 posted on 06/18/2013 10:17:55 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: nickcarraway
We need a real break through..

Klattu Anchovie Pepperoni..

5 posted on 06/18/2013 10:21:17 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: nickcarraway
There are some drones that just don't cut it in the work force.

There are some jobs that drones just won't do.

Drones are more fertile!

6 posted on 06/18/2013 11:31:16 PM PDT by Freedom of Speech Wins
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To: nickcarraway

A new sport is born: Pizza drone hunting.


7 posted on 06/18/2013 11:48:30 PM PDT by TChad
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To: nickcarraway
New game in San Diego: Shoot down the drone & catch the pizza before it hits the ground.

I predict shooting down delivery drones will become a great sport in our thug controlled cities.

8 posted on 06/19/2013 4:57:16 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: TChad
We have similar thoughts!

It got me to thinking what is the best way to shoot down a drone & salvage the cargo? Not that I would do such a thing.

A gun might do too much damage. Bird shot would ruin a pizza.

I'm thinking a beanbag gun or one of those water balloon launchers. A kamikaze R/C plane would do the trick. Perhaps a trained bird with a drop net!

(Note to NSA spies: I'm just having fun with my imagination.)

9 posted on 06/19/2013 5:27:01 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Mister Da; TChad

How about just grabbing the pizza, Putin style, and leaving the drone fly to it’s destination without it’s cargo?


10 posted on 06/19/2013 9:57:40 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Mister Da
It got me to thinking what is the best way to shoot down a drone & salvage the cargo?

I bet that in the future, the most common technique to down a drone will be to simply use a gun. Whatever works against birds should work against drones. This has obvious downsides, especially in urban areas. And as you note, the gun technique would probably ruin a pizza.

I have been thinking of ways that one drone might be used to down another. Given the excellent remote video capabilities of modern drones, a fast pursuit drone should be able to land on top of a slower target drone in flight. Downward projecting spikes could be pushed into the target drone propellers. Or, add a flat plate to the bottom of the pursuit drone with a sticky flexible sheet (think flypaper) on its bottom, sticky side down. The sticky sheet should have holes in it to permit a bit of air to get through, so the partial vacuum above the target drone's propellers will tend to hold the sheet in place, along with the adhesive. The pursuit drone releases the sticky sheet after it is in place, and the target drone drops like a rock. Sticky cotton balls could be used instead.

(Note to NSA spies: I'm just having fun with my imagination.)

(Note to NSA spies: I am an American citizen. Spy elsewhere.)

11 posted on 06/19/2013 7:33:53 PM PDT by TChad
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To: nickcarraway

Pizza Hut is already experimenting with this in the U.K.


12 posted on 06/19/2013 7:36:59 PM PDT by jughandle
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