viernes, 27 de junio de 2014

Russia: Pizza delivered by UAV

While America and Europe administrations are still squabbling over domestic drone regulations — which won’t take effect until at least 2015, and probably later — Russia's DoDo Pizza is using UAVs to deliver pizza in a matter of minutes: DoDo Pizza, from the Komi republic's capital city of Syktyvkar, launched its first unmanned delivery this past Saturday (June 21st), delivering the pizza in 30 minutes.

Of course, the UAVs are provided with anti-theft devices like cameras monitored by the restaurant’s manager, who calls the patron upon delivery to protect against theft. Once the patron’s identity is confirmed, a cable lowers the pizza. Also, if someone tugs on the cable too hard, an emergency mechanism releases the cable. We are now talking about delivering a pizza, but, ¿Why not beer, flowers, letters, or anything else? ¿Why not? The answer is very simple: The restriction laws. For example: Earlier this year, Lakemaid, a local brewery in Minnesota made plans to deliver beer by drone. But the FAA told Lakemaid to cease UAV operations. ¿Why? Because domestic drones are currently banned for commercial purposes or flying above 400 feet. ¿Reason? Privacy protection. 

No one would ever mistake Russia for a shining beacon of liberty, but they have embraced free-market innovation while politicians in America and Europe still see the UAVs with some kind of fear, forgetting -as CNN mentions- that “the next generation of friendly drones aren't all packing weapons or collecting data for the NSA. Some just want to bring you a nice cold one and maybe a slice without getting stuck in traffic.” Of course, privacy advocates are right to question law enforcement’s penchant for unmanned aerial vehicles and the infinite potential for abuse, but while administrations, politicians, and privacy advocates continue to squabble over domestic drone regulations, Russia — not exactly a pillar of individual liberty — allowed a local pizza joint to deliver a hot pie from the air.