Using drones to deliver humanitarian aid isn’t a radical idea, but expecting recipients to eat the aircraft when it arrives is a little more ambitious. As Munchies reports, that’s exactly what Windhorse Aerospace aims to do when they deploy their edible drones to drought-stricken areas later this year.
The British drone manufacturers are developing the prototype of their Pouncer drone to test in April. Sturdy foodstuff—like honeycomb, compressed vegetables, and salami—are being considered for the craft’s body. The provisions will be delivered in an inedible shell that doubles as a shelter. The frame will be combustible and people in impoverished countries can use it to safely cook the food it contains.
After testing the drone, Windhorse chairman and founder Nigel Gifford hopes to have the vehicles flying into Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, and Sudan by the end of 2017. But the project has attracted critics even before lifting off the ground. When asked about the Pouncer, Save the Children chief executive Kevin Watkins told the Financial Times that drones are “good at killing people and blowing things up. They are absolutely irrelevant for resolving acute hunger."
Yet the company says they chose drones as their vehicle for a thoughtful reason. Unlike trucks or planes, their drones can penetrate hard-to-reach areas and land within roughly 20 feet of the target. Accuracy is a big factor, especially if the team wants to make deliveries to war-torn nations where food is likely to fall into the wrong hands.