How drone grids can solve hunger

17 February 2015
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805 million.
That is the number of people who still live without sufficient food to maintain their health. Of these people, over 100 million are underweight, and three million of them are children that will die due to hunger and malnourishment complications.  

The sad part? It only takes €0.20 for the World Food Programme to give a hungry schoolchild a cup of nutritious food. €40 can provide a child with school meals for an entire year.  

While many people believe that the world’s hunger problem lies in the fact that food is not readily available, investigations show that more than enough food is grown and produced to nourish each and every person on the planet.

Where is the Problem?

The biggest issue today lies in getting the available food from the producers to those who need it most. A lack of food, aside from a financial issue, is mainly a logistical problem. Developing countries often have fewer options for food transportation. Roads, when available, are rarely maintained properly, and railroad lines are often scarce. To make matters worse, the budgets for these capital-heavy investments are often unavailable.

Additionally, the available food is often perishable and prone to disease if not consumed in time, and there are many occasions when it does not get to the people who need it most before it expires.  The result is a trickle-down effect where farmers fail to generate a liveable income from farming, and thus the individuals needing the food the farmer is meant to be producing end up starving, or surviving off only a meagre and inadequate diet.

Drone Grids…Say What?

Thankfully, we now have the technology to offer a solution and the technology to rescue these individuals from malnutrition and starvation. One of these technological solutions comes through the use of ‘drone grids’. Drone grids are basically a set of drones that are charged with covering a certain part of the earth’s surface, forming a grid. Each drone is then programmed to deliver food to a certain part of its assigned grid. The use of drone grids accurately and swiftly serves to solve the tricky logistical conundrum presented by countries suffering from food availability, production, and delivery issues.

You may already have seen the Amazon video featuring their vision of drone grid package delivery, but did you know that there are already companies using food delivery drones in real life? Francesco Pizzeria Company, a company in Mumbai, India, uses drones to deliver pizza at home. Yes, it really does.

If you’re interested in building a food delivery drone yourself, take a look at the Burrito Bomber, where you’ll find a detailed manual of how to build a system that does exactly what it promises: deliver food using a drone.

Yes, there are Still Some Hurdles to Drone Delivery

There are currently two hurdles that are still blocking the path to drone grid delivery service as a solution to the logistics problems of hunger.

The first is that legislation on unmanned aerial vehicles, like drones, is still largely under development in the United States, the front runner in applying drone technology. The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration has only recently put its framework in place for drone use, and Europe is still debating the different dimensions that unmanned aerial vehicles can take.

The second of these hurdles revolves around technological specifications, such as battery life limits and flight radius. With a battery life of only five to forty minutes, drones cannot yet access the highly remote areas where food is usually most needed. However, it’s just a matter of time before more advanced batteries are developed, such as graphene supercapacitators, and are ready for deployment. This technology is already being developed.


Want more?

Want to find out in what way food impacts our quality of life? We got you covered! Find out more about food and surviving.

 


Categories:   Food   Tools for abundance
Bruno Delepierre

Societal entrepreneur who wants to contribute to our quality of life. Married to Soetkin, dad of Jacqueline. General coordinator at Happonomy.

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