The History of Delivery Drones (Slideshow)
The TacoCopter, March 2012
San Francisco tech gurus created a drone and a system for delivering tacos, started a website, only to be thwarted by the FAA. "Until laws catch up with (delicious) technology, this is a just for fun thing with our friends," co-founder Dustin Boyer told us in an email. "We have a vision of the future where all foods, not just tacos, can be delivered via deadly flying robots."
The Burrito Bomber, December 2012
A similar Mexican food delivery drone, complete with an app and a special "burrito delivery tube." Similarly, the commercial product awaits FAA approval, which is deciding commercial drone use legislation by September 2015.
Yo! Sushi iTray, June 2013
The U.K. sushi chain (known for conveyer belt sushi) debuted a rice burger with a flying tray, or the "iTray," built with RC Drone quadricopter technology. The drone, controlled with a Wi-Fi system and iPad software, flies food straight to the table, and is slated to launch at Yo! Sushis across the U.K. next year.
Domino’s DomiCopter, June 2013
The pizza chain launched a marketing gimmick in the U.K. this past summer, with a video showing an eight-bladed DomiCopter delivering two large pepperoni pizzas to a home. Probably not happening in the near future, but it could: "We had a lot of fun putting the video together," a representative said. "Domino's is an innovative company that is constantly looking at ways to deliver pizzas as quickly as possible. It could be great to think that one day pizzas could fly!"
Oppikoppi Beer Delivery, August 2013
South Africa’s Oppikoppi music festival launched their own beer delivery drone last year, parachuting down beers for thirsty festivalgoers at campsite District 9. The eight-propeller helicopter was loaded with beer and sent through the desert with specific GPS coordinates (from the satellite chip in cellphones). The drone then dropped a single beer with a parachute (to avoid hitting anyone in the head), thus earning the nickname "Manna" at the festival, after a biblical story where bread fell from the sky.