Watch a Drone Zoom Over a Baseball Stadium to Deliver Hot Dogs

Date:10 May 2022 Author: Juandre

In perfect weather conditions, the drones can deliver up to 45 combo meals per hour.

Getting a hot dog at a recent Purdue University baseball series took on an aerial quality. In the first-ever drone delivery of food and beverage at a sporting event—while Purdue hosted the University of Michigan—fans could order a meal pack and have it delivered via done to a locker inside Alexander Field.

In the pilot program, Purdue’s concessionaire, Levy (and its DBK Studio technology team), partnered with Chicago-based Valqari, a company with a patented six-locker Drone Delivery Station, and Unmanned Systems Operation Group (USOG) to fulfill orders of hot dogs, bottles of water, and chips. The program was meant to “pressure-test the delivery experience for higher fan volume at future events.” (You can watch a video of the delivery process here).

Valqari worked with USOG, its drone partner, to map out delivery service and a flight path. The pre-set foot and beverage combo meals were prepared and fulfilled at Folk Field, home of Purdue’s women’s soccer team, about half a mile away from Alexander Field, at least for those walking between the two venues’ front gates. For the drone, the path was a bit more direct, flying from the kitchens at Folk Field, over the soccer field, and then bypassing pedestrian areas and parking lots as it navigated the Northwest Sports Complex on its way to Alexander Field, all while carrying delivery boxes.

The flight time was about 90 seconds; overall, orders were fulfilled in about four minutes, from loading deliveries at the Folk Field station to the flight and eventual delivery into the secure locker. The DBK Studio team says in perfect weather conditions they believe the drones can deliver up to 45 combo meals per hour. (Concession workers helped complete each order by grabbing it from the drone delivery box and adding it to the secure pick-up locker for fans.)

Ken Halpin, Purdue’s deputy athletics director and chief operating officer, says in a press release that bringing an “exciting new piece of event technology to Boilermaker baseball games” was all about a focus on innovation. For Levy, the first-ever food and beverage delivery at a sports or entertainment event was about testing out what is possible for the future, especially for campus events that may have large kitchens not far away and could enrich services and offerings.

“The technology needs to create real value for our fans and better our operations, and we put in this important work testing and learning so that we can truly deliver at scale in the future,” Andy Lansing, president and CEO of Levy, says in the release. “Drone delivery has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of main kitchens across large campuses and remote venues and expand the ways fans can access the food and beverage they enjoy most at an event.”

Levy says the pilot will be evaluated throughout the summer, with hopes that it can eventually bring the service to other venues.

Latest Issue :

May-June 2022