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Author's profile photo Tim Clark

Drones Deliver Tex-Mex. What’s Next?

Bloomberg News published a mouth-watering story this week about a drone experiment called Project Wing involving the delivery of… braised pork burritos?

Yep, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, few dozen students (by invite only) took a number from a red ticket dispenser to pay an extra $5.99 delivery fee to “experience the dawn of unmanned Tex-Mex food delivery.”

According to the Bloomberg story, Project Wing (the brainchild of Google parent company Alphabet) selected food as a test product because it is fragile and must be delivered quickly, important facets to consider when it comes to building a business case for widespread adoption of drones.

This latest experiment from Project Wing was a success as burritos were delivered safe, fresh and hot. Thankfully, Alphabet’s investment in drone technology doesn’t end with fast food delivery. Here’s more from the Bloomberg story:

The company has invested significantly in drones and predicts that eventually they will serve many important purposes — possibly delivering medicine and batteries to cut-off areas after a natural disaster or helping firefighters improve communication and visibility near a wildfire.

Alphabet is not alone. According to a study by the Teal Group Corp, the spending on drones will nearly double by 2024 to about $11.4 billion (compared to about $6.4 billion in 2014). Not surprisingly, large enterprises are moving quickly to evaluate how they can use such technologies. In a recent Forbes story, “How Drones Deliver the Goods Across the Enterprise”, areas where drones impact the enterprise is “broadly revolved around the areas of quality, inspections, maintenance, manufacturing, delivery of goods, and warehouse management.”

In the below video, it’s easy to see how drones, combined with smart glasses, can be used for inside work environments, such as assistants for distributing objects in logistics centers, or for helping to better manage warehouse inventory. What’s next? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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