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By Isabellisima

On 26, Apr 2013 | In | By Isabellisima

Darwin Aerospace: burrito bomber

Earlier this year, the world was brought to its knees when it was cruelly teased with the promise of tasty Mexican treats being delivered via quadcopter. We believe everyone deserves carne asada when they want it and so today, we make that dream a reality. We’re proud to introduce: Burrito Bomber — truly the world’s first airborne Mexican food delivery system.

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It works like this:

  1. You connect to the Burrito Bomber web-app and order a burrito. Your smartphone sends your current location to our server, which generates a waypoint file compatible with the drone’s autopilot.
  2. We upload the waypoint file to the drone and load your burrito in to our custom made Burrito Delivery Tube.
  3. The drone flies to your location and releases the Burrito Delivery Tube. The burrito parachutes down to you, the drone flies itself home, and you enjoy your carne asada.

 

We built Burrito Bomber using a handful of open source projects and some new bits we created ourselves. All the code and 3D models we created for Burrito Bomber are on our GitHub page so you can build one too!

The airframe is a SkyWalker X8 Flying Wing. The plane uses Ardupilot to navigate the skies. The Burrito release mechanism is the combination of a Quantum RTR Bomb System, a 3″ diameter mailing tube, and some 3D printed parts we designed in-house. The plane is controllable either manually via live video transmitted from the plane or autonomously using the Ardupilot autopilot. We use a Futaba 9C controller and EzUHF transmitter to manually control the plane. Check out the parts list for further details.

The web app is built in Flask. It gets the user’s location via the HTML5 Geolocation API, generates a Mission Planner compatible waypoint file, then sends that to the drone operator. The drone operator uploads the waypoint file to the plane.

Unfortunately, Burrito Bomber as a commercial product is not yet allowed under current FAA guidelines. However, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires the FAA to hammer out regulations for commercial use drones by September 2015. This means in 2015 we’ll be able to take to the skies to bring you your burrito faster than you can say “¡Salsa roja por favor!”.

The Burrito Bomber is brought to you courtesy of Darwin Aerospace, a small research laboratory best-known for pushing the boundaries of low-cost air and space exploration with innovative projects. You can find them here.