You may remember a time when New Zealand was divided as to whether pizza delivery by drone was going to be the way of the future. It turns out the drone that made it all happen has landed a new home at a museum.
The DRU drone, developed by drone delivery makers Flirtey, has been accepted into the Aviation collection at Auckland's MOTAT.
Last year Domino's gained approval from the Civil Aviation Authority to deliver a pizza via Flirtey's DRU drone. The delivery was designed to show how drones can deliver items safely and scalably across the country - and keep the pizza hot through packaging that retained temperature and taste.
Flirtey CEO Matthey Sweeny says the company is honoured to be part of MOTAT. He hopes the 'ground-breaking' drone will inspire future generations.
Flirtey's DRU drone is lightweight and made of carbon fibre, aluminium and 3D printed components. It lowers cargo via tether. It also has safety features including low battery return to safe location and auto-return home in case communication or low GPS signal occurs.
MOTAT will include the drone as part of a public exhibit and in an upcoming interactive drone event. MOTAT's CEO Michael Frawley says the drone has a unique and fascinating background; combining transport and technology ingenuity to inspire visitors.
“Drones are a symbol of modern times; they represent the future and it’s important that we recognise their place in history, preserve their stories and include them in our museum collections. We are delighted to be appointed as custodians of this contemporary unmanned aircraft," he says.
It's not the first time Flirtey's drones have been inducted into museums. Last year, the Flirtey drone that made the first FAA-approved delivery in the United States, landed a spot in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Domino's Group CEO Don Meij says that launching the commercial drone delivery service in New Zealand was a 'landmark' achievement for aviation.
In November, Domino's and Flirtey continued their partnership to deliver pizza to Domino customer homes in Whangaparoa, on Auckland's northern fringes.
“We’ll continue to partner with Flirtey and see drone delivery as an essential component of our pizza deliveries in the future," Meij says.
That partnership will expand to include select customers in the Auckland area later this year. They will expand the service across the country.
“We look forward to continuing to drive this industry forward when we expand drone deliveries to customer homes in New Zealand later this year," Sweeny concludes.