A man decided to help his local homeless by providing cheeseburgers via drone drop. Was the Whopper Dropper a secret marketing ploy for Burger King? Is it a parable for the detached, mechanical distance with which the bay area’s technologically inclined newcomers view human interaction? Kristopher Kneen, one of the people behind Dronelyfe, which produced and released the Whopper Dropper video said this.
“The video wasn’t sponsored by Burger King, just that “Whopper Dropper” rhymes. Dronelyfe originally intended to drop happy meals, but the catchy name stuck and that meant using Burger King’s branded specialty. (Burger King, in response to a request for comment, emailed that “This was not a BURGER KING brand initiative.”) The drone used was a custom-built craft, with a transmitter and a claw added to it. The Whopper Dropper was flown at distances up to a mile away. As Kneen tells it, Whopper Dropper was more than anything a proof-of-concept, and delivering food to the homeless was the first cool idea to help people in the area that came to him and his collaborators.
The latest concept Kneen says that DroneLyfe is working on is flying a drone above a park with a large crowd and then dropping $1,000 in cash. They’re looking for a sponsor for that project. It turns out, there is a technological answer to homelessness, though I’m pretty sure it’s not air-delivered burgers. The technology needed is both simple and ancient: as Salt Lake City discovered, it’s just houses.