I live in Paris. Some would say that it’s the most beautiful City in the world with such charming atmosphere, streets, cafés everywhere, and Notre Dame. This is true.
However living in the Paris area includes also less enchanting aspects, you may also experience in your daily live, like getting up early, heavy traffic jams, road accidents, traffic lights and people getting nervous clammed in their cars. Then, the only way out to escape this nightmare is to switch on the radio. Listening to my usual program, a news came out about this strange Amazon drone delivery buzz.
Delivering pizza with a drone: What a strange idea! The thing is that we have been working in our company on drones. We were not trying to imagine future drones but investigating how to make a colony work together. We therefore looked at what drones could or would be in a near future and studied their potential development outside the usual military markets.
Therefore, while waiting in my car for the green traffic light, an idea struck me on my way to the office. Let’s imagine how such a drone would look like. Since I live in an urban area, the case of a person living in a flat seemed reasonable. How would such a drone reach the person knowing his name, address, and phone number? Forgetting about the journey between the pizza oven and the building where the flat is located, just try to consider the constraints from the front door to the starving person waiting for a pizza.
Two options are possible: through the inside or though the outside of the building ( I have just seen Mission Impossible: the ghost protocol…)
Let’s try the outside. So we have a flying drone – I did not consider a walking one for obvious reasons-, transporting our initially warm pizza, flying up the floors, and trying to find out, which is the right window. The drone would then use its integrated phone to call you (remember you have given your phone number), and tell you that your pizza is waiting in front of your kitchen’s window. Then comes the difficult part : How to catch the pizza without falling (you or the pizza), and supposing that the drone still have enough power to come back to his dock for refill. Mummh! Looks complicated. And what, if the delivered pizza is not the right one! What a nightmare. Looks like this does not fly.
Let’s try the inside then. Your drone is in front of the building’s front door. Since everything is meant for humans, i.e. with eyes at approx. 1,5/1,8 m height, arms, fingers and a brain, the drone would therefore be of a respectable “human“ size, would have to be able to detect the name in the list, push the right button to have the door opened while still holding the pizza, be able to yield its identity “this is the delivery drone”, climb the stairs or take the elevator,…it would run out of batteries long before the now cold pizza is delivered, supposing that he could pass the front door.
Now, you could argue and say that since the drone is tracked, you would receive a SMS telling you that your pizza will land on the lawn in x minutes. This could work. But, not in France! Because, this would look like “Fast and Furious 9″ with you running against the wandering dog for the landed pizza.
So this news doesn’t stand analysis more than 5 minutes. How then can we explain the fact that almost all newspaper spoke about it, or TV news mentioned it or that it went round the world several times? I don’t really know, but I remember my children addiction to the internet. Whenever they found something on a site, it had to be real. Trying to convince them that what is being shown is not necessarily true did often take me quite a lot of time. With a video, it’s even worse since they can see it! So, why not a high tech pizza delivering drone.
When the magic of internet is the only truth.