To demonstrate the potential of new drone applications, students at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) launched the world’s first drone café on the university’s campus. The pop-up café features a number of drones that can take orders and serve them autonomously.
Launched by 20 students, the drone project focusses on four key aspects: safety, helpfulness thanks to a multifunctional gripper, communication, and autonomy. While the aim here is to provide good hospitality service, the project highlights the drones’ ability to perform in a range of situations.
“For example, you could think of applications like fire prevention, tracking down burglars or delivering medicines,” says Tessie Hartjes, student and team manager of the project.
In Rwanda, a US-based company called Zipline recently launched a drone delivery service that will deliver medical supplies to remote areas, saving millions of lives. Earlier this year, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed the FAROS quadcopter to help firefighters in the event of a high-rise building fire. The drones are engineered to crawl up walls, and locate the source of the fire or any people in a building.
Hartjes says the Eindhoven team will have to decide how to take their drone’s forward: “We all need to decide together what tasks new technologies can carry out for us in the future.”
The drone cafe was launched as part of the university’s 60 year anniversary, celebrated in a three-day festival at the Eindhoven campus.