Next time any BPites care to visit Mumbai, please let us know in advance, the drone/pizza combo will be waiting for you as you exit the airport. Its a nice way of saying welcome:-)
financial capital, notorious for its traffic snarls, has achieved a
first in the country after a city-based pizza outlet used an unmanned
drone to execute a delivery by taking the aerial route recently.
“All of us had read about (global e-commerce giant) Amazon’s plans of
using drones. We successfully carried out a test-delivery by sending a
pizza to a customer located 1.5 km away from our outlet on May 11,”
Francesco’s Pizzeria chief executive Mikhel Rajani told today.
He stressed that this was only a test-flight but its results confirm that it can be used routinely in a few years.
A four-rotor drone took off with the order from its outlet in central
Mumbai’s Lower Parel area and delivered it to a high-rise building in
adjacent Worli area, Rajani said, claiming that it is for the first time
that the ubiquitous drone has been used for such a purpose in the
The eatery, which has been in operations for two years,
has made a video of the delivery, he said, adding an auto engineer
friend helped with making the flight possible.
Rajani, who comes
from a family that is into textiles, said the drone saves time and
costs for a company like his, which would otherwise depend on a
two-wheeler borne agent to deliver the pizzas.
“What we have
done now will be common place in the next four-five years,” he said,
adding every such customised drone costs around USD 2,000. At present,
there are certain restrictions on the regulatory front like the drone
not allowed to fly above 400 ft altitude and barred from flying over
security establishments, he said, adding the American Federal Aviation
Authority’s regulations on usage of drones, expected next year, will
Apart from that there are technical difficulties like a
limited operating radius of 8 km after which the batteries go dry, he
said, adding proper infrastructure like having charging stations can
Even though the four-rotor version drone had a limited
carrying capacity, he said the payload capacity can be increased to up
to 8 kg in case of a an eight-rotor drone.