The method of home delivery for takeout pizzas or Chinese hasn’t changed much since it first became available. It usually either comes to you via bike or car. But with new technology, one group decided it was time food delivery got an upgrade. Cue the “TacoCopter.”
The Blaze reported on the TacoCopter in March, stating that the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles limited drones for commercial uses such as this. The recent passage of a bill in Congress that would open up the sky to private and commercial drones by 2015 though means the TacoCopter could be facing less of a legal battle than it anticipated.
With that, the creators have moved forward conducting the TacoCopter’s first flight indoors. Although the test was short lived, it showed accomplishment in the delivery drone’s design.
The drone is similar in concept to the ones we’ve seen used in some cases by the media to capture aerial footage and the quadrotors by KMel Robotics Lab. The rigging on the drone has a globe-like design to allow it to carry the taco.
The Huffington Post reports the maiden flight for the TacoCopter was about five feet and took place in Hong Kong. See for yourself:
The Huffington Post goes on to stifle those scoffing at the short distance of the test, stating it was “symbolic flight” to prove the “drone copter could be rigged to handle the weight of a taco and mission delivery.” The project still has several technical issues to overcome, obviously (note the taco’s small size), before your Mexican favorites will be dropping from the sky. HuffPo has more:
It still has to learn to deal with an intimidating set of technical issues — GPS mastery, mass production of drones, wind, heavy rain, birds, building ledges, telephone wires, thieves etc. — before you can even think about actually receiving your taco via aerial flavor strike.
In our emails, Simpson seemed generally upbeat about the future of Tacocopter. The MIT grad is moving back to America in May to renew work on the aerial taco project, which has been given a second life of sorts thanks to media interest. Co-founded in mid 2011 by fellow MIT grad Scott Torborg and Harvard alum Dustin Boyer, the Tacocopter concept lay undiscovered, simply a mysterious website with a grand promise for drone delivery of tacos, for many months until the idea went viral in March.
Now, Simpson and her team need a little more help from the government to really get Tacocopter off the ground. If the legal chains were to be lifted, the Tacocopter masterminds could start to work on the heavy scientific and mathematical lifting necessary to program an unmanned aerial vehicle to fly someone a taco.
For now, the TacoCopter is listed as a private beta in the San Francisco Bay area. But if you’re on the East Coast, you haven’t been forgotten. The website states there is the LobsterCopter for those loving the “taco of the East.”
Check out more about the TacoCopter launch on the website Hong Wrong here.
And in case you’re wondering: yes, comedian Steven Colbert weighed in on the TacoCopter, too: