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Did you hear the great news? Amazon is experimenting with unmanned drones in the hopes of speeding up its delivery times. If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you already enjoy free two-day shipping on tons of useful products. But why settle for two-day shipping when you can get your much-needed items within 30 minutes of ordering them?
That's the question Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is asking. His conceptual drone delivery service, called Prime Air, is at least four years away, but it could revolutionize the way we shop—again. It's nice to buy things like Keurig K-Cups or Christmas decorations online, but with delivery times under 30 minutes, the possibilities are endless.
Why let Amazon have all the fun, though? We think other companies should get in on the drone insanity. Here are 10 drones we'd like to see take to the skies, for the betterment of mankind.
Let's say you're having a major ice cream craving. Two of the worst possibilities are:
With a Ben & Jerry's drone, you can indulge in this dairylicious treat in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered. And if the ice cream is shipped rock-hard, it'll be at the perfect eating consistency by the time you get it. Ben & Jerry's is going to get rich... again.
We've seen similar concepts in the form of the Burrito Bomber and Germany's DönerCopter. But what the world really needs is a mid-tier sandwich chain to embrace the drone-delivery concept. Think about it: Quiznos could totally conquer the world of take-out, like Amazon did the book industry.
Imagine a world where you could order delicious toasted subs, all with a guaranteed delivery time of 30 minutes or less. Obesity would skyrocket, but so would happiness.
If you've ever been to a Quiznos or a Subway, you know that it doesn't take long to make these subs. Once your order is placed, it would take a few minutes for someone to prepare your sub. Then, your footlong is given to a drone, your address is typed in, and off it goes. This would ideally take about 15 minutes.
Do you tip a drone, though?
We've all been there: Someone didn't leave any extra toilet paper in the bathroom, and now you're in a real pickle. You can usually take an undignified shuffle down the hall to fix the issue, but what if there's absolutely no extra TP in your house?
Charmin to the rescue!
Simply place an emergency order of toilet paper with your handy Charmin smartphone app (it doesn't exist... yet), and presto: A delivery of ultra-soft bath tissue will be at your residence before you descend into a full-blown panic attack. You could either crack your bathroom window for direct delivery (a TP cannon, perhaps?), or hope you have someone to answer the door when the drone comes knockin'.
Got an impromptu dinner party to throw and no cabernet? Maybe you have friends coming over to eat your fancy cheeses, but you forgot the chardonnay. These disasters could be remedied by drone—if your state allows it, of course.
Many states prohibit the shipping of alcoholic beverages, so a wine drone won't be able to help you there. But if you live in a state like California, where it's legal to have wine shipped from a vineyard, you'll be toasting and sipping in no time. And if you're lucky, the wine drone might stay for a glass.
What's more exciting than a good old-fashioned date? Actually, plenty of things are! Dates are more nerve-wracking than exciting because everything has to be perfect.
Once we make it to a drone-controlled future, though, these romantic meet-ups between like-minded individuals will become a lot less distressing. Why? Because you could order emergency beauty supplies from an Estée Lauder drone like:
Just kidding about that last one!
Coffee is a necessity at work. Almost everyone comes into the office with a cup in their hands, or goes directly to the coffee maker before turning their computer on. Dunkin' Donuts can make everyone's life easier by offering made-to-order coffee via a drone.
There are a couple of ways that this can be done. A drone could deliver your coffee in a thermos; that way, your joe would stay hot, but getting a new thermos every time you need a caffeine fix is wasteful and expensive.
A better idea would be if Dunkin' Donuts sent a drone with a giant, insulated cauldron of coffee. When it gets to your office, you simply dispense the necessary amount of black gold into your cup. Bonus points if the Dunkin' Donuts drone has a wicked robotic Boston accent.
Babies are gross. Yes, they're also adorable and complete your life in ways that words cannot describe, but they're disgusting. Why aren't humans born with the ability to flush a toilet? Until we solve this problem, we're no smarter than house pets.
Maybe the worst part about babies is the need to change them. No, not their clothes—their diapers! This really isn't a big deal when you're in the comfort of your own home, but what about when you're out and about? Let's say you bring your small child to the mall and he/she has an "accident." Also, you forgot to bring an extra diaper. What do you do?
You order a pack of diapers from Huggies and have one of its diaper drones deliver it to you at the mall! When Huggies gives you the option to have the drone change the diaper for an additional $1.99, then we'll have finally made it to the future.
You're at the gym. You're sweating, tearing your muscles to shreds, and impressing everyone who glances your way. Congrats: You own this place.
Except you ran out of protein powder and have no way to replenish your body. Don't apologize to me—tell your poor muscles how sorry you are. With no protein, your muscles won't recover properly and you'll no longer be the envy of your fellow gym rats.
In the future, maybe you could just order some protein powder from Muscle Milk when you get to the gym. Let the employees up front know that you have an important package coming within 30 minutes... delivered by a robot. Proceed to finish your workout and then pound large quantities of shake. We expect to see you on the cover of a fitness magazine soon.
Did that terrifying light in your car just come on? You know, the one that says you have between 30 and 60 miles of gas left? Maybe it's been on for a day or two now, and you aren't anywhere near a gas station.
A gasoline-delivering drone from Shell would be awesome for emergency situations like this. If you don't mind sitting in your car for up to 30 minutes, you could order some and have a drone deliver it to you in a convenient canister. Sure, you could just use AAA, but we'd rather have a friendly robot deliver us our fuel, and it probably wouldn't take nearly as long to arrive.
Don't worry about it, little drone: Just bring yourself. After all, isn't a robot friend the best kind of delivery anyone could ever hope to receive?
With this service, you'd pay quadricopter-maker Parrot for a predetermined amount of time with a drone friend. It would follow you around and crack witty one-liners as you go about your day. ("Great article, Josh. Where's your Pulitzer?") People would either be in awe, or simply shrug their shoulders because they also pay for "robot friend time."
You could even have a drone assist you with things like:
There are way too many things we'd want to do with a robot friend. This needs to become a reality. Soon.
[Hero image: Flickr user "Don McCullough"]
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