It’s April 2, 2016, which means it’s a good time to look back at all of the ‘news’ stories that broke yesterday, and highlight some of the better April Fools Day efforts that involved drones.
One of the more ambitious videos was the #KillerDrone, a remote controlled, chainsaw-wielding DJI Spreading Wings S1000 drone built by “crazy Finnish farmers”.
On their site, DJI says the S1000 was built for “high level professional aerial photography and cinematography” so I guess they’ll have to add “chainsaw carrying” to that list.
Barn Owl vs DJI Phantom 4
CNET decided to put the Phantom 4 to the ultimate test, matching it against a beautiful barn in the English countryside to settle the debate over which one is better, once and for all. (Because a lot of people have been having that debate.)
Categories included Setup Time, Maximum Flight Time, Hovering, Cuteness, Precision, and Recharge Time, and in the end, mother nature’s finest prevailed.
White Castle Crave Copter
White Castle used April Fools Day as a chance to announce their new Crave Copter service, where unmanned aerial vehicles known as Crave Copters would begin nationwide delivery of The Original Slider in Crave Cases of 30 Sliders.
According to White Castle, a fleet of 1,500 Crave Copters would be strategically positioned across the continental United States, at Castles and undisclosed grilling locations in the Western U.S.
In addition, a highly sophisticated tracking system would allow deployment to the geographic areas with the most demand.
While drone delivery works well as an April Fools Day joke now, give it a few years, and this type of service may actually become a reality!
Bank of Melbourne Aerial Teller Machine
From today, our mobile app will feature a button that summons our new Aerial Teller drones. Welcome to the future. pic.twitter.com/XKhHVmo2nt
— Bank of Melbourne (@BankofMelb) March 31, 2016
Expanding on the idea of drone delivery, Bank of Melbourne used drones to give new meaning to the ATM, announcing Aerial Teller Machines that would fly a teller machine to you with the push of a button from their mobile app.
Marco’s Pizza Delivery Drone
Another day, another food delivery drone joke.
This time, Marco’s Pizza announced a few new delivery methods, including hoverboard, drone, and horse drawn buggy, and asked their fans to guess if these new delivery methods were fact or fool for a chance to win free CheezyBread.
While the Yuneec Typhoon G did a pretty convincing job of carrying the pizza box, it looks like everyone was able to successfully guess fool for this one.
Australian mobile phone company Vodafone said they cover 97% of the Australian population, but had a plan for the other 3%: Drones!
The Voda-Drone was supposedly a drone with the traditional camera compartment replaced by a wireless modem, and when you needed extra bandwidth, you would send a “Voda-Drone” message to your local Vodafone store, and they would dispatch the Voda-Drone to your location in 30 minutes or less.
Using Sophisticated Evasion Nuisance Detection and Unmanned Provider Status, or SEND UPS, the drone would evade trees, birds, and even people on ladders to ensure all flora and fauna were safe.
Dollywood Cinnamon Bread Butterfly Delivery Service
Rounding out the drone food delivery service jokes was Dollywood, who unveiled plans to deliver their famous cinnamon bread by drone.
According to the Dollywood website, “Upon arrival, recipient should extend hands to catch cinnamon bread; drone will detect the bread recipient and automatically release the loaf, gently dropping it into the waiting palms. Please do not attempt to tug the bread free from the drone prior to its release. During high-wind deliveries, loaf may fly up to three feet from the originating drone drop.”
Sanwa Koutsu Drone Taxi
Last, but certainly not least, is the Drone Taxi from Sanwa Koutsu, a Japanese taxi service.
The website is written in Japanese, so I have no idea what it says, but the picture of a guy flying around by hanging on to the bottom of what looks like a giant DJI Phantom 3 is worth the click alone. (Plus, they had “AprilFool2016” right in the URL, so I don’t think they fooled anyone.)
The number of drone-related April Fools Day jokes just goes to show the increasing popularity and awareness of drones, and while many of these ideas are still pretty funny now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them become a reality in a few years.
Sure, the idea of a Drone Taxi is still pretty far off, and a drone that flies around a giant box of money is just asking for trouble, but a drone that delivers pizza, or drops off a box of White Castle?
That’s an idea I could get used to.