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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Judge OK's Low-Flying Drones. Is Taco Delivery Next?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 2:15 PM

The future of drones might be a little more complicated than a dystopian police state. - ABINE.COM
  • The future of drones might be a little more complicated than a dystopian police state.

Like most people, I dread the not-too-distant day when armies of weaponized drones perfect a totalized surveillance state, terrorizing the populace and raining fire from the sky in the name of safety. However, a judge recently OK'd low-flying drones, opening them up for more banal purposes -- namely food delivery. It's entirely legal, now that the National Transportation Safety Board has triumphed over the Federal Aviation Administration. Move over drone warfare. Now it's just drone fare.

Like 3-D printing, this is one of the ways where tech seems genuinely positioned to disrupt the way we eat. (I'm skeptical that printed food matter with a chemical structure more complex than chocolate will taste right, but I really want to try some.) Imagine a world where "Cold Beer, Cold Water" can dispatch his fleet of drones to bring you a twelve-pack of Tecate to Dolores Park, or a nocturnal unmanned mission from the darkest crevices of Humboldt County delivering high-quality weed to the Bay Area. Presumably, you could pay via Square.

For now, the drones will have to keep below a ceiling of 400 feet, so maybe that last scenario isn't terribly feasible. But maybe a pizza would be doable. They're making crust out of cauliflower now, so stranger things have happened.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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