Edible drone in the near future
An idea for edible drones does not sound so delicious as one imagines. However, the edible drones ideas are designated for the humanitarian aid, specifically in the disaster or war zone.
Nigel Gifford, the founder of solar satellite company Ascenta (now acquired by Facebook), designs this edible drone and calls it the Pouncer.
It is designed to be dropped with high accuracy into disaster zones to provide emergency food rations.
Pouncer, which is still in its design stage, will use the wing structure made from (as yet undetermined) food, and compartments in the main body and wings will be filled with different local foods, based on the area of the drones is sent.
Other structure will be built from wood which can be used as wood fire for cooking or heating. All bodies and parts of Pouncer will be utilized, minimizing the waste.
Gifford explains that for accurate delivery, Pouncer will be equipped with a tiny navigation system and cardboard fin will steer the drone to within ten metres of its intended target.
He also designs for long-range accuracy. He gives an example of a plane flying at 10,000 feet (3 km) will be able to drop the Pouncer 21 miles (33 km) away from its destination. For comparison, parachute delivery can be achieved within the range of 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the target. This makes Pouncer safer to deliver aid over war zones.
There is still a question on the amount of food delivered in one drone. Gifford also said that Pouncer still has some way to go before it can be rolled out. Pouncer now has to pass nine technical stages in the creation of a licensed aircraft, the technology readiness levels (TLR). Pouncer is currently on TLR4 and it needs approximately 24 months for the last stage.