Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | March 24, 2012

Great Moments in Innovation (and Subsequent Heartbreak)

I’ll admit, there are plenty of times a day when I see something in the real world or online and my very first thought is “I’m soooooo gonna blog about that!”

Today that reaction was caused by my discovery of the greatest innovation that isn’t, the TacoCopter.

What is TacoCopter you ask?

Well, it’s just the greatest idea in the history of ideas.

Here is the basic business plan, from the Huffington Post:

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.

I know, right?!

That’s absolute genius in action right there.

Anyone who isn’t interested in this idea can do us all a favor by shutting down their computer, unplugging it, dumping it out a window, and staying off of the internet forever.

This plan is genius.

Pure.

Unadulterated.

Genius.

Seriously, this idea sounds so great that I was ready to put in an order immediately without taking even a nanosecond to wonder where the tacos come from, how much they cost, how they’d manage to keep them warm, or whether or not I could trust the helicopter to destroy any wayward birds of prey who may attempt to steal my tacos.

As it turns out all of these questions have come up before, which is why—in the most heartbreaking twist of the day—the entire TacoCopter idea is just that, an idea. A plan. A scheme. A design. A blueprint. A concept. A notion.

Dare I say…a dream?

A beautiful, perfect dream…but a dream nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the entire thing is still very much in the “planning” phase and it will likely be a very long time—if ever—before we actually get our mitts on tacos brought down from the heavens.

Things look even bleaker when you read the recent interview Star Simpson—the brains behind the concept—had with Wired.com:

Simpson cautiously thinks something like Tacocopter could become a reality in the future, but for now, the system described by the Tacocopter website is difficult to accomplish in reality: Under FAA guidelines, commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, is only possible with an incredibly difficult-to-obtain license.

If the FAA did relax its regulations, Simpson thinks “a network of command and recharging centers attached to kitchens capable of fulfilling demand orders could easily satisfy the taco delivery needs of a metropolitan area like San Francisco.”

As for whether a drone or a remote control flying vehicle would be used, Simpson said, “I think the best option for an urban context would be a remote operated vehicle — something flown by a pilot who could respond to difficult-to-map obstacles like the street lamps and balconies you’d inevitably have to deal with.”

Simpson was careful to note that many questions surrounding Tacocopter remain. Among other matters, her brain trust would need to consider optimal routing, human safety, dealing with wind and weather, vehicle control, taco delivery handoff and taco impact, and pricing.

Simpson’s responses don’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in this here blogger.

They evoke even less confidence when I remembered why her name sounded so familiar.

It turns out this is the same gal who caused a bomb scare at Logan International Airport a few years back when she was wearing a sweatshirt with flashing LED lights and wires running to a 9-volt battery. You know, like a complete lunatic who just can’t wait to get shot by heavily-armed security guards.

If my hopes of flying tacos from the heavens are in her hands, it may be time to let the dream die.


Responses

  1. Something for Taco to aspire towards… greatness

    • Here’s hoping that the government gets on-board and is willing to change their silly “laws” and “regulations” to allow this to happen. It’s for the greater good methinks.

  2. I bet it would refuse to deliver those crappy Doritos Tacos just on sheer principle.

    • I would hope so. My hope is that the helicopters would be equipped with all-kinds of sensors that limit it to good, delicious tacos and allows it to destroy birds with small firearms.

  3. [...] A week ago, I learned about the groundbreaking innovation that is, TacoCopter!! [...]

  4. [...] Great Moments in Innovation (and Subsequent Heartbreak) at Blank Stares and Blank Pages. You heard about the TacoCopter this week, right? What? You didn’t? Check it out at Jeremiah’s blog, which is one that never ceases to make me laugh with its wit and snarkiness. [...]


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