There is a lot of talk at the moment about what the future holds for drones, with endless possibilities of what they can do it’s not surprising to see why they are talked about so much. In particular, drones in South Africa are becoming more and more of a topic of conversation. This might be because of how well agricultural drones in South Africa can help farmers not only save money, but also help protect and grow their crops. Drones such as the Phantom 4 and Phantom 4Pro + have certain features that can really help boost a farm’s productivity. Another hugely popular use for drones in South Africa is drone racing. This sport has gone from strength to strength and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Broadcast on ESPN, this dramatic and exciting sport captivates thousands and thousands of people all over the world thanks to its incredible speed, skill and thrilling climaxes. Not just sport and agriculture, drones have also been used for wildlife care, public safety, film and even disease prevention. That being said, possibly the most exciting and intriguing new invention in the drone world, above all of these, is the creation of the edible delivery drone. An edible drone might sound crazy, but it actually makes a lot of sense as it could really help to save lives and we are here to show you how.
You may not have thought that you would ever see a drone in South Africa that could be eaten, but that will soon be the reality. The Pouncer Drone has actually been built out of food components to deliver humanitarian aid to disaster areas. The engineer behind it all, Nigel Gifford, is hoping that this will be the future of disaster aid and replace the parachutes currently used to drop aid into certain areas as currently, it’s less accurate and more wasteful. In an interview with the Business Insider he shared his thoughts on the current method of delivering aid –
“At the moment, people in a disaster zone are issued with something called a humanitarian daily ration (HDR),” he told Business Insider. An HDR doesn’t recognise culture, religious beliefs, or diet – you get issued with a pack that has 2,200 calories in it, and that’s it. Most of the time it’s wasted.”
The Pouncer is made from low-cost materials and has an airframe skin made from biodegradable starch-based thermoplastic, filled with vacuum sealed food parcels. An incredible feat of engineering, it passed its first test flight earlier this year in the UK and will continue to be tested to ensure reliability, but so far so good. It is powered by a solid fuel unit and compressed air and is launched either from a based catapult or tailgate aircraft. The Pouncer drone can fly up to 100 km and can carry up to 200lbs of food. Efficient, effective and life changing, this new invention will provide nutrition to people in both disaster areas and war zones faster and easier.
Drones in South Africa
The Pouncer drone will first be deployed in countries hit by disaster and poverty so it will be unlikely that you’ll see this drone in South Africa. However, once the Pouncer is used more frequently and is successful then this could have a knock-on effect in the drone industry by then sending edible drones into the animal kingdom. South Africa is known for having the most incredible Safaris around and to keep this going we must look after the animals living there. These edible drones might be a great way of getting nutritious food to starving animals without endangering human lives. It could help see a rise in the population of lions, Rhinos, Buffalo and Leopards making for a healthy and thriving animal kingdom.
Drones seem to have a knack for surprising people with what they can do and what they will be able to do soon. Constantly being redesigned, it’s a really exciting time for the drone industry as you just don’t know what is going to come next. Edible drones that are not only low cost and low maintenance, but can also help save human and animal lives will be hard to beat, but we are keen to see if they can. But for now, we are eager to see how the Pouncer drone does on its first mission. If successful, then we are sure this will be the future of disaster aid.