Innovation That Matters

In South Africa, drones repurposed to deliver beer to festivalgoers

Work & Lifestyle

Attendees at the OppiKoppi festival in August will be able to order beer to be delivered directly to them via their smartphones.

Beer-lovers can already brew their own ales in remote locations thanks to the Carbonator Bottle, but what about those who prefer to have their beverages delivered direct to them? Using tech to offer ultra-convenience, guests at South Africa’s OppiKoppi festival in August will be able to use their smartphones to order beer to be delivered directly to them via drones. Developed by Darkwing Aerials, the drones are octocopters that will be able to hold individual cans of beer, fitted with mini parachutes. Guests at the music festival – taking place in the Limpopo province of South Africa – will be allowed to order one free Windhoek beer through their smartphone. The drone uses the GPS position of the smartphone to locate customers to within one square meter, before dropping the cans to the ground. The video below shows the prototype – which is currently manually controlled – in action: The beer drone offers a unique and engaging way for festivalgoers to order drinks, helping them avoid long queues, and – although this year will act mainly as a promotional tool for Windhoek – the organizers have hinted at a paid model in the future, as well as delivering other goods at outdoor events. Given the reputation of drones as machines for warfare, are there other more positive uses for the technology? Spotted by: Murray Orange



Download PDF