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Burrito Bomber UAV delivers edible payload


December 17, 2012

The Burrito Bomber is a flying drone that can take food orders and air drop them at a person's location within minutes

The Burrito Bomber is a flying drone that can take food orders and air drop them at a person's location within minutes

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Delivering fresh food to someone's door is far from unusual, but delivering it by flying drone is another story entirely. A team of designers at Darwin Aerospace recently built the "Burrito Bomber," a UAV outfitted with a release mechanism and autopilot controls, so it can take food orders and air drop them at a person's location within minutes.

Using a Skywalker X-8 FPV/UAV Flying Wing for a frame, the group constructed a delivery mechanism out of a Quantum RTR Bomb System with a canister built from a 3-inch diameter mailing tube and some custom 3D printed parts. Navigation is handled by an ArduPilot control system, which the developers can use to set waypoints for the drone to follow on autopilot or manually control the aircraft using the video feed from a built-in camera.

Orders are taken through a web app, which pinpoints a user's location and automatically creates a waypoint file for the drone to follow. Then an operator loads the burrito into the canister, uploads the waypoint file, and sends the bomber on its way. The canister holds and protects a 500 gram burrito and deploys an attached parachute when dropped, so the contents arrive in one edible piece at their destination.

It may sound like an implausible method of food delivery, but there's a real possibility that drones could ship packages in the near future. The United States Congress recently passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, part of which tasks the FAA with creating a set of regulations for commercial-use drones by September 2015.

It's doubtful that flocks of drones will take to the skies to drop off packages at that time, but this may be a hint, albeit a tongue-in-cheek one, of a future of unmanned cargo aircraft. If you want to make your own burrito delivery aircraft, Darwin Aerospace has detailed instructions along with 3D models and code on its website.

Check out the video below to see the quirky folks at Darwin Aerospace sending their Burrito Bomber out for a delivery.

Source: Darwin Aerospace

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

You know, this remind me a lot of those old stork baby delivering cartoons. Substitute the baby for burritos and voila!

David Guzman

Some packages may be deliverable via this method (especially longer distance deliveries) but quadrotors would allow more accuracy of delivery. One might even design a customized package box with netting to prevent accidental hard landings and beacons to make it easier for the bot to locate. It could stay closed most of the time and open when a delivery is arriving.

Snake Oil Baron

I love it!

Juan de la Cruz

Is there a second drone for my soda?

Russ Jata

If there's a mistake in the burrito order, how would one send it back? ...call the drone back for a pickup?

"Hello, I would like to order the super burrito with extra everything". "Sorry sir, that would exceed the payload limit of our delivery drone."

"Hello, I would like to order an anvil."

"Hello, the child I ordered from China has not been delivered yet." "Sir, according to our records, that child has been dropped off at your residence two weeks ago." "Obviously I didn't receive it." "Sir would you like to file a complaint?" "Damn right I would!"

"In a bizarre and tragic turn of events today, an entire elementary school was wiped out when a malfunctioning FedEx drone crashed carrying what appears to be biologic samples intended for the CDC."

"In other parts of the news today, scientists correlate a sharp decline in migratory bird population with a sharp increase in global delivery drone usage. This follows recent reports of bird parts under the flight path of one of the nation's busiest delivery drone lanes."


Are you certain this wasn't designed for publication in The Onion?

Ed Campbell

i'm sure terrorists around the world are rejoicing for this.

tampa florida

interesting use of drone technology. easily the sort of thing that could be used to fly ammo to soldiers in a combat situation.

Douglas E Vries

Revive this: UAV Air dropping Mail IE the old rocket mail idea from 20s. Only now use UAVs for mail runs into Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Sierra Nev, Teton Mtmn ranges etc for mail service. Land or aidrop mail to local PO center.

Stephen Russell

"Why is my burrito ticking?"

Jim Parker

So if Tower Hobbies used this to deliver a radio control airplane that would be a radio control airplane delivering a radio control airplane! That would be something new and cool to see!

David Guzman

I need a burrito on my coordinates, and I need it NOW!

Marco Pedone
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