The use of disposable drones is an idea that has already been explored, and the goal is to provide supplies and medicines, or other assistance, to regions in conflict, quarantine isolated areas or places that have suffered some kind of catastrophe, and Which is difficult to access.
The premise for this type of drones is that they are inexpensive, that they can carry payload and that they are able to reach their destination with precision. Also it is that the dron is made with cardboard or with any other material that facilitates that once it has been used it fades of natural form in a relatively short period of time, so that it does not suppose an environmental problem nor they can not be reused turned into arms .
Nigel Gifford is the designer of the dron Pouncer that is developing with the company Windhorse Aerospace. Pouncer meets what can be asked of a single-use dron: at $ 300 a unit is relatively affordable and can fly to where aid is needed. But Gifford is not satisfied that once completed his mission his dron disappears without leaving trace in the surroundings. Instead, it has developed a dron that is itself a useful resource: almost the whole structure of the 75-kg-weight apparatus is built in such a way that it provides fuel, water and food rations.
For this to be possible the aircraft is made of wood that can be broken and used as fuel, for cooking and heating, and with vegetable fibers that serve as food. But in addition, the inside of the wings and part of the fuselage of the apparatus contain rations of dehydrated food to reduce the weight and the volume. According to Gifford, with the 50 kg of food contained in each dron can be prepared 100 servings of food, and the type of food can be adapted according to the region where the dron is used.
As for the development of drones with a purpose Nigel Gifford has some experience. This 70-year-old engineer is behind the development of the Eagle, the solar-powered dron and financed by Facebook to provide internet connection to remote areas. A project that was recently in the air due to the combination of conflicts caused by the regulations regarding the use of drones and radio channels.
The Dron Pouncer does not have to take off or travel long distances, so the batteries that power the electronics and a small propeller propeller are small and light, and reusable. Instead, the dron is launched from a cargo plane and employs a relatively simple navigation system based on GPS to travel the last kilometers to its destination: in a descent from an altitude of 30 kilometers, the dron can travel 20 or 30 km In any direction and still reach your goal with 10 meters accuracy. This is more accurate than parachute launches, as well as greater safety for aircraft pilots when flying war zones, for example.
The inside of the wings and part of the fuselage of the apparatus contain portions of dehydrated food to reduce weight and volume
The drones are already used, for example, in Rwanda, where the complicated terrain and the precarious transport infrastructures make it difficult to deliver medicine or blood to hospitals in the African country, proving its usefulness to these ends.
But while the idea of Nigel Gifford is certainly ingenious and could come to fruition, not everyone can take it seriously. According to Seeker, in a statement to the Financial Times Kevin Watkins of Save the Children, he has been quite critical of the idea of an edible dron because “it is based on the assumption that technology can solve all problems.” Defense Windhorse Aerospac, and says other humanitarian organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam have already shown interest in Dron Pouncer.