Monday, July 8, 2013

Want a Hellfire Missile with that Pizza?

So now you can (theoretically) get a pizza to your door... by drone delivery. Of course, many legitimate non-military uses of drones exist -- fighting wild fires is very topical this summer, even if jurisdictions are holding off, for now. Domino’s Pizza in the U.K. recently grabbed attention with a YouTube video of a drone delivering pizzas.

Driverless cars could also impact how we move goods around, not to mention ourselves. VW conceptualized a utility vehicle called the eT! The eT! drives semi-autonomously on voice commands such as "follow me" and "come to me", among other tricks.

Drones in commercial use could be boosted by another project. The Matternet is being developed in three stages. In the first stage, the Matternet team anticipates carrying loads of one to two kilograms. The team's prototype (pictured above) can already do this, but its autonomous capabilities have not yet been tested. During the second stage, the autonomous vehicles will carry 200 kilograms, and automated solar-powered recharging stations will be installed on the ground. In the third stage, the vehicles will be able to carry up to 1,000 kilograms--so they will be able to transport both goods and people. The prototype AAVs are quadcopters that have a range of 10 kilometers, but the technology may change as the project advances.

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