Shanghai Company Claims It Delivered Cakes With Drones
Pie in the sky
A Shanghai company is using drones to deliver cakes. According to the Shanghai Daily, Incake Company delivered cakes by flying robot, then suspended the service after police officials complained that the drones posed a threat to public safety.
Incake is a bakery and delivery company, with an entire British R&D team developing the cakes, and a very future-savvy marketing team. Orders for these cakes are only accepted online, and according to Men Ruifeng, the marketing manager for the company, drones delivered cakes at least five times.
The cake-delivery drones are hexarotors, with six spinning blades providing lift. They have a total diameter of 3.6 feet, weigh 22 pounds, and can carry one cake-containing parcel at a time. Each drone has two cameras, one pointed forward, in the direction the drone is flying, and another fixed on the cake. According to Men, the drone can fly over several kilometers, and is piloted by a person in a nearby pursuit vehicle.
The Shanghai Daily says Men claims the drone delivery is more environmentally friendly than standard delivery. Pretty hard to believe when the drone has to be accompanied by a (presumably exhaust-emitting) vehicle. But as a marketing gimmick, Incake’s robot service has certainly performed its duty, securing a place alongside robot pitchmen like this dry cleaning delivery bot or this concert-promoting beer bomber.