// Tacocopter, a new startup to use flying robots as delivery mans
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!
It’s an unmanned drone helicopter shooting a taco from space down at you and your colleagues during lunchtime! The Internet is going wild for Tacocopter, perhaps the next great startup out of Silicon Valley, which boasts a business plan that combines four of the most prominent touchstones of modern America: tacos, helicopters, robots and laziness.
Indeed, the concept behind Tacocopter is very simple, and very American: You order tacos on your smartphone and also beam in your GPS location information. Your order — and your location — are transmitted to an unmanned drone helicopter (grounded, near the kitchen where the tacos are made), and the tacocopter is then sent out with your food to find you and deliver your tacos to wherever you’re standing.
You pay online, so the tacos are simply dropped off at your feet by the drone helicopter, which then flies back to the restaurant to pick up its next order.
Brilliant, right? You’re probably ready to order a sackful of fish tacos to be delivered to you by a semi-autonomous flying robot as we speak! Well, put down your smartphones, because here comes some bad news: The launch of Tacocopter — which is totally real, by the way, despite some doubters, and has been around since July 2011 — is being blocked by the U.S. government.
HuffPost spoke with Star Simpson, one of Tacocopter’s three cofounders (along withDustin Boyer and Scott Torborg), who said that one of the main obstacles to getting Tacocopter off the ground (sorry) is, indeed, the government.
Simpson told HuffPost that because of the FAA’s regulations — as well as other minor problems, like navigating the treacherous terrain of an urban environment, keeping the food warm, finding a city map precise enough to avoid crashes 100 percent of the time, avoiding birds, balconies and telephone wires, delivering food to people indoors, delivering food to the right person, dealing with greedy humans who would just steal the Tacocopter as soon as it got to them, etc. — the Tacocopter website exists more as a conversation starter about the future of food delivery (and delivery in general), as well as about the commercial uses of unmanned vehicles, than an actual startup plan or business.
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