Watch a drone's-eye view of sending a candy bar across Hong Kong


Even without sunk cost it seems like a pretty expensive way to get your candy.

What would be amazing is if they could devise some sort of vehicle that could deliver thousands of candy bars all at once, to remote distribution centers called “stores”…


The middle portion of Hong Kong island has enough elevation changes to keep it from being developed so what you see from a satellite view effectively shows the limits to where they’re willing to lay in infrastructure. To get from the popular bustling regions of Hong Kong (Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, etc) to the other side of that island (Repulse Bay, Stanley) would normally involve a 45 minute bus ride as it winds its way through a handful of paths to get there. Haven’t checked out their more recent subway route though. Pretty remarkable to see this accomplished in under 15 minutes.

I think this would be better for buying weed than chocolate, but as such it’s a great proof of concept. I hope there will still be corner stores for buying chocolate in the future.


Chinese drone maker to residents of DC: NO CANDY BAR FOR YOU!


Yes, but think of it this way: if it could be equipped with a live camera feed you could watch your stuff being delivered. You’d know exactly when it arrived, and if the mailman drone opened your fence again even though you’ve said at least three times leaving it on the front porch is fine.

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I guess I didn’t realize control range was so far. How far out can you fly one of these?

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It’s probably a lot cheaper and faster than paying for a bicycle messenger to do it - providing what you’re sending is within the carrying capacity and the appropriate permissions are in place, I’m sure the market has plenty of potential - especially in Hong Kong where the topography is against you and a drone could deliver straight to your 30th floor apartment or boat.

This looks like absolutely the most cost effective way to get it delivered, if by “candy bar” you mean 50 grams of heroin or coke.

I suspect it’s following a programmed flight path, not being piloted by a human the whole way.

Hong Kong has 950 7-Elevens, 325 Circle K’s and probably thousands of other outlets where you can buy candy bars (keep in mind that Hong Kong is 1,104 sq km [426 sq mi]). Using SF Express, it’s costs HK$22 (US$2.83) to deliver a package door-to-door (from commercial area to commercial area). I don’t think drones can ever compete on this price by carrying one item at a time. Besides, drones will butt up against China (i.e., PLA) air space. Nice flight, good views, interesting experiment. I’ll be surprised if it goes any further.

As far as I’m concerned, the candy bar is merely a proof of concept - the point was making the video. It looks like SF express does same day delivery, but not within the hour. If this got going, companies or individuals could have their own drones that delivered between certain coordinates within a very short time, so you wouldn’t even need to worry about flying both ways every time. Payloads can go well over a kilo, so once it became a viable model, specialized drones could be made that could do those jobs more efficiently.

As far as the Chinese border is concerned, this will make smuggling much easier.

They already use them to get drugs over the Mexican border (and US guns the other way? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ). But there’s likely some good uses for the technology, like emergency supplies to a doctor, for instance.

Is the accuracy of the programmed flight path really that good that it can cut its engines an inch from the ground? Also, at various times midway, it hangs there, appearing to look for orientation.

Isn’t it more likely it’s using long-distance radio (or cellular)?

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