A British company called Windhorse Aerospace thinks it’s figured out the key to solving humanitarian crises: edible drones. Its unmanned Pouncer prototype that’s currently in the works will have a wingspan of nine feet and be constructed of various “foodstuff” to drop supplies and then itself into territories in need of aid. This drone could be built of honeycomb or compressed vegetables, with salami serving as the landing gear, according to a new interview in the Financial Times. Why salami? Because it’s “physically strong with good tensile strength and flexibility.” This is for real.
The Pouncer drone has been publicized before, but I think this is the first time we’ve heard salami mentioned. I’m not sure what to make of Pouncer. On the one hand, yes, aid is typically dropped into areas by plane and parachute, so it might make some sense to be able to eat your delivery package. But on the other hand, this sounds, just, crazy? The Financial Times sources Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children, as saying he believes this drone is just a gimmick. These areas are in serious need of assistance, he says, and aren’t places for experimental edible drone tech. I hope Windhorse really does have good intentions and wants to solve world crises, even if it means relying on salami landing gear.