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News & Views

The drone you can eat

Last year, there were 125 natural disasters. More recently, Haiti has experienced Hurricane Matthew in which the death toll rose to 1000. To access the people affected by these disasters, Windhorse Aero engineer and adventurer Nigel Gifford invented a unique Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) called Pouncer. The Pouncer is an edible, disposable drone that can be dropped in disaster zones to provide emergency food. One Pouncer has the potential to save 50 lives.

Delivering aid to disaster zones is expensive and dangerous for the people involved. The Pouncer combines aerospace technology with food and agri-technology in its build and has a power unit made from cardboard and compressed air.

The Pouncer will be loaded with food appropriate for the people it’s meant to reach. It flies independently to a pre-planned destination. Its pre-formed shell can be reused to provide shelter and the frame can be burned to cook food. The entire drone can be dismantled and consumed.

In its design stage, the Pouncer hopes to provide a more convenient and cost-effective means of food delivery in disaster or conflict zones.

According to Gifford, the idea was inspired skydiving. Gifford is clear that the Pouncer still has some way to go before it can be rolled out.

According to Business Insider, there are nine technical stages in the creation of a licensed aircraft, known as technology readiness levels, and the Pouncer is currently on level 9. Gifford believes that the system will be at production point 9 in less that 24 months.

First appeared on Design Indaba Blog

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