Fun Friday: What Would You Use A Drone For?

In my talk yesterday at Princeton, we got to discussing drones. A young woman asked me what I would use a drone for.

My answer was dry cleaning runs. I want to hand my drone the week's dry cleaning, have the drone fly over to sixth ave and 10th street where our dry cleaner is, drop off the clothes and then return home. When the dry cleaning is ready to pick up, the drone would fly back, get it, and bring it back home.

Of course, if everyone did this, the skies in NYC would be so filled with drones that we wouldn't be able to see the sun. That doesn't feel so great to be honest.

What would you use a drone for?

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Easy.Delivery of products.If someone has one (refrigerated please) for rent, I’ll take it every day from 7-9 am.

    1. fredwilson

      nice one

    2. ShanaC

      actually, I can see SMBs using more than individuals – take the shack cam – shack drone!

    3. Dan

      Wow…$11 for a 16 ounce juice? Why am I in tech? Juice bars might have a higher margin than software…

    4. LE

      Are you saying there is a opportunity for someone with a refrigerated truck for example to deliver this in Manhattan?

      1. awaldstein

        Understand…I’m a partner, not the operator nor the soul of this company.But yes, the company will be in LI City as of next week and we are sourcing delivery services for a cooled van. Not prepared to buy one as yet.You know me email if you have ideas.

        1. LE

          Ok.Have you considered using a route model? Same as tastykake and many others do?…(The contacts on the Herrs page could probably be paid as consultants to help work the details of that. My approach would be to contact them as a starting point.)In short owner operators are motivated to push the product and are independent contractors.In any case there are obviously existing distributors that will shelve this product as well.(I’m seeing now that your model is direct to home so keep the above in mind going forward.)There are some typos of you need I’ll email you separately with those suggestions……..

          1. awaldstein

            Glad to share along any suggestions on the site to that team.Business is not just to home/office but is now direct to retail as well. Pan Quotidian and really great new cafe, Mulberry & Vine are now carrying and testing the market. Soon others.Thanks for suggestions. Biz is not ready for you suggested partners. We do not participate in three tier distribution at this time.

          2. LE

            I can see a market developing for this product among, say, people fighting cancer or cancer survivors. Along those lines it might be an idea to provide some sample products at no charge to celebrities or thought leaders in that area. Easier said than done (finding them plus cost of product/delivery) but once again just throwing it out there for future thought. Probably a start might be bloggers who write about their health experiences.

          3. awaldstein

            Thanks for your time on this,The product is getting written up now locally and locally is the power we are riding now that we have retail as well home delivery.We’ve had requests for verticalized health needs. Not our focus now.The product just rocks! Blended has many properties that the common pressed juice doesn’t not to mention that it tastes great. Green juices unless they are saturated with sugars just don’t.Check out the calories and nutritional components with each product. Amazing actually.

          4. LE

            (Wrote a reply to this and disqus ate it – really annoying).I looked and missed the nutrition something that I always check IRL with anything I buy. Literally comparing labels and doing the pros and cons of two products from the same company. (One is similar to this and they sell it in the cold case at starbucks but the name escapes me).Along those lines on the luli website you might want to consider badges or callouts highlighting “high fiber” (stylized) so it can’t be missed. Recognizing that simply making the nutrition label might take away from the current presentation. I’m a big believer in things like this because they are hot buttons and have made me buy a certain brand.A good example is comparing trader joes “smoked herring fillets” vs. Bar Harbour (sold in Whole foods). Note the difference in the packaging. The BH packaging makes you feel really good about the product. That’s what I’m talking about. Trader Joes – same product no highlighting of hot buttons.………….

  2. George Mills

    That’s a great question, it kind of implies “if transport costs were zero, what becomes possible?”As unimaginative as it seems I’d like a drone to pick up our team lunches, that way we could choose any food the city has to offer.

    1. fredwilson

      the bike messenger market has to be looking over their shoulder at drones

  3. Laurent Eschenauer

    I was writing something, then as I wrote I found it a really cool idea that may be worth prototyping with a Parrot and NodeJS. So, excuse me for not sharing it today, and thank you for inspiring this minute of creativity ! I

    1. fredwilson


    2. Avi Deitcher

      A Parrot? Are you going to implant an Arduino inside a Macaw or Eclectus?

      1. Avi Deitcher

        And I am almost ready to volunteer my male Electus…. Maybe I can volume control him via an app over Bluetooth…

      2. Laurent Eschenauer

        The Parrot AR 2.0 is an awesome little drone, which can be controlled and programmed in NodeJS (and many other frameworks). Ideal to quickly prototype a drone based idea. And yes, mixing a Parrot with some Arduino hackery can probably enable some really cool concepts.http://ardrone2.parrot.com

        1. fredwilson

          i need to get a parrot. sounds awesome. drone hacking!

          1. Avi Deitcher

            Do you know what its maximum payload is?

          2. Avi Deitcher

            BTW, just spoke to Parrot support. The drone cannot carry any payload at all, and connection is wifi only, no direct connect USB, or Bluetooth, or anything else.

        2. Avi Deitcher

          Oh wow! To quote, “we wants it, precious!”Unfortunately, it is made by the same company that makes the crappy Bluetooth modules I have used and learned to hate. A little wary to drop $300 on more of their garbage.Anyone with experience with it?

  4. LIAD

    drones will prove to be a security and health & safety nightmare. advances in technology will be met with ever increasing regulation.My primary use-case would be to hover one over a forest and answer the eternal question of ‘do bears $hit in a wood?’

  5. Avi Deitcher

    Your assumed use case is that you have the drone, and it runs your errands. Why wouldn’t it be the reverse? The dry cleaner has the drone, and it runs the deliveries. Would that not be more efficient?

    1. fredwilson

      yes. i see your point. but the question the young woman asked me was what i would use one for, so that’s what came to mind

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Personally, I like your reality better: I *like* the idea of my own drone (and it rhymes).But since we are thinking about use cases, I am trying to understand which is most likely to occur. I think businesses will have them before consumers.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          The % difference between business/home will be interesting due to what William posted for the hobby world with price of $300.

          1. Avi Deitcher

            True, but the hobby is $300, includes the basic hardware, but needs to be programmed. How do you add automated flight, collision avoidance, missions, etc. Add all that in – a lot of programming and probably some real-time services – and the cost goes up greatly. In most of these businesses, it isn’t the raw hardware cost.

          2. William Mougayar

            I think you will need to learn how to “pilot” it…or get a drone chauffeur.

          3. Avi Deitcher

            Making it less likely that it will be consumer-grade. Then again, they probably said that about automobiles originally…

          4. Dave W Baldwin

            Don’t stick yourself in April, 13 but think forward to 2015 and see where the puck goes.

          5. Avi Deitcher

            Hockey analogy. Yes!

    2. Flying rats

      Or that intelligent drones take over and make you run errands for them?

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Do you think we could wirelessly connect the small computers in each drone to a giant worldwide mesh? If we did, would they become self-aware? Could we call it Skynet?

  6. Cam MacRae

    My drone will shoot down any other drone that comes within 300′ of my vicinity.

    1. fredwilson

      i wonder if there is a video game where drones fight each other

      1. Cam MacRae

        If there isn’t, there should be.

        1. Avi Deitcher

          I’ll be $0.99 for it in the app store.

          1. Cam MacRae

            I’m good for $25 on kickstarter 😉

          2. Avi Deitcher

            Does it come with a free drone?

      2. laurie kalmanson

        There’s suri vs furby…

      3. Ed Freyfogle

        yes, it’s called Pakistan. I’m not sure it’s a very fun game though.

        1. ShanaC


        2. Avi Deitcher


        3. kidmercury


        4. Tyler Hayes


      4. LE

        Actually here are two ar drones in central park fighting each other:…Another one:…I’ve been doing RC Helis since 1985 (starting with gas electric you needed literally an extension cord they were just prototypes back then). I bought a v1 ardrone when it first came out, used it once and found it a bit boring. I didn’t like the iphone controls and the fact that it is so easy to fly takes all the challenge out of it. No effort at all to get it to hover. That said it came with a camera and people were using them to fight each other from the start.In any case if anyone wants to buy any drones or RC helis visit this site:http://rchelicopters.comIt's an amazon store (so don’t blame me for the way it looks or operates it’s just a way to monetize the domain). Anyone who buys anything on it let me know and I will donate the $$ to….

      5. SubstrateUndertow

        Yes – It is called the internet !And it is chock-full of algorithmic virtual-spy drones data-mining every bit of user privacy in sight.

      6. andrew thomas

        one guy mounted a drone with a paintball gun. :-/…

    2. laurie kalmanson

      We have a drone gap

    3. andrewparker

      Why shoot? A bluetooth-delivered computer virus would be far more effective.

    4. Will Luttrell

      300′ is not much of a safety zone in drone world.

      1. Cam MacRae

        Ah yes, but a second time?

  7. pointsnfigures

    monitoring my daughters on a date (or in reality maybe I don’t need to see that) Just kidding if they are reading this.could also use it for hunting to track prey, or to track deer that you shoot (they don’t always drop right in front of you-especially when bow hunting)could use it to check the chop on the lake before sailing, or chop on the seas before going out in a boat

  8. laurie kalmanson

    Taco copter

    1. fredwilson


      1. laurie kalmanson

        It feels a little yesterday’s tomorrows to have the skies as crowded as the streets

        1. fredwilson

          or the jetsonsif you think about it, the jetsons are pretty much becoming true other than the flying cars

          1. laurie kalmanson

            And then somePebble watch is awesome for being a back to the future device that pulls from the thing the old future never imagined.Related — best space toy ever. They knew they’d need TV in space but they could only imagine hauling a giant studio camera up there, not having a tiny camera.

          2. ShanaC

            I still want my maid robot though and fo work to only be an hour a week. Also I want the clothing….

          3. laurie kalmanson

            And the hair

  9. Flying Rats

    Scare pigeons

    1. Avi Deitcher

      Yes! Yes! Yes! I would pay $50+ for this.

    2. Robert Holtz

      That would put a whole new spin on the game “Angry Birds.” It may also be the only product extension Rovio hasn’t tried out yet. 8-D

  10. laurie kalmanson

    Routine errands like dry cleaning or getting a pound of coffee beg for aggregation

  11. Nick Allen

    I’d love to set up a few for delivering take outs. But program them to autopilot following train / motorway tracks for a reasonable portion of the journey (save air and noise pollution). Auckland NZ is getting as vast as LA so you could cut back on the car congestion AND make downtown food available to a greater radius.I also though this:… could be interesting…

  12. Ian Hogarth

    I wonder if this could be an interesting way to connect food producers/fishermen/farmers/ foragers directly with consumers eg ‘get me a fish from the boat that just pulled in to harbour X’. Continuing the theme of offline marketplaces like Airbnb/Uber etc but for items with higher perishibility.

    1. fredwilson

      i like it

    2. Nick Allen

      Ultra fresh fish drones and mushroom pickup – Love that idea.

    3. William Mougayar

      I love that one bc nothing beats fresh fish & very few cities have the luxury of a good supply of fresh fish.

      1. pointsnfigures

        will the drone wet a line for you too?

        1. William Mougayar

          LOL. You’re asking for too much now 🙂 That will take the fun out of fishing.

    4. ShanaC

      that could be interesting. I wouldn’t mind having farm fresh corn delivered to me in the summer. So sweet

    5. leapy

      *that* is an idea!

  13. jason wright

    I’d like my drone to be armed and airborne when I’m out riding my bike.

  14. Tom Labus

    Check out golf courses to see how full they are and also play for the Nets.

    1. fredwilson


      1. Robert Holtz

        Fred, there ARE dry cleaners who do pickup and delivery. You know this, right? No drones necessary. They use actual human beings. People: an all but lost concept in the services industry.By the way, while we’re on the subject, if drones ever DO become a mainstream consumer “in thing” (Apple iDrone?), I’m sure there would be clearly designated drone-only high speed traffic areas… probably powered by the same code base behind Google’s self-driving cars.Or better yet, some startup will invent the “ZipCar” of drones. That way any given individual drone only ever needs to travel one-way and the routing of tasks can all be coordinated in the cloud (SkyNet? LOL.) DaaS (Drones as a Service). I mean… extrapolating from current trends, why own a drone when you can subscribe? ;-P

        1. Meghan

          Yes! My Dropped some clothes off at my local dry cleaners over the weekend and she said they were going “mobile.” I was trying to figure out what kind of app a dry cleaner would use, but lo and behold they were introducing free pickup and delivery. Put the clothes out on a Tuesday and get them back on Friday. What a relief! No drone needed and keeps old Dale employed on the delivery route.

          1. ShanaC

            Very cool.

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Going mobile. I love this.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Aerial video camera views would be great – especially for amateurs. You could also try just knocking them down – game like shooting – but with golf balls. Lots of games could come out of it though. Hide and seek, capture the drone, flags …Edit: Human-controlled – that could make some good “televised” entertainment …


        I think drones still cost too much to be knocking them out of the sky for fun.

        1. Matt A. Myers


    3. SubstrateUndertow

      Yes I too love the golf course experience. It is so peaceful and relaxing !Bring on the drones 😉

  15. jason wright

    is there a drone slaying app? i want one now.

  16. IamJJ

    I would use a drone to fly luggage and people separetely

    1. Robert Holtz

      Delta Airlines offers that service for free every time they lose your luggage.

  17. leigh

    Can a drone give massages? At least they could probably walk on my back!

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I think the word you’re looking for is husband / wife / partner.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        In my experience those don’t fly. So there’s the massage vs. flying tradeoff you need to consider.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Well, hopefully they’re taller than you and then can just follow you around everywhere … 😛

      2. leigh

        I’ve had two of them and while lovely men (both ex husband and current one) and great father’s (again both of them) they suck at massaging (yep, that’d be both of them)

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Everyone seems to love my massages. Thought about going into massage therapy awhile back.

    2. Rohan

      Your son would make a perfect candidate, Leigh. :)I’m sure he’d be happy to do that! (Speaking from experience when I was his age.. hehe)

      1. leigh

        working on it 🙂

  18. laurie kalmanson

    Unmanned flightSo much of a spaceship or a car is protection for the driverDrone cycles making small local deliveries w googles unmanned vehicles wouldn’t need airbags or helmetsTheft deterrent issues tho if its small enough to be nimble it’s small enough to steal and even if it has on board video as a deterrent a can of spray paint would win

  19. JimHirshfield

    That’s ridiculous!

    1. William Mougayar

      Good one.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      It’ll never fly!!

      1. Tyler Hayes


        1. Matt A. Myers

          Five never had an issue working with puns, sometimes I feel a little high trying to be clever though..

  20. William Mougayar

    I would send it to get me freshly picked fruit & vegetables from the fields, baked goods from the pastry shops & unique wines from the wineries. There would be no need for large grocery stores which I hate bc they are full of processed foods.

  21. laurie kalmanson

    FedEx drones

  22. Bruce Warila

    There’s this one road in my town where certain people dump old TVs, tires, and couches; an armed drone could end this quickly 🙂

  23. Ed Freyfogle

    Fred, in all seriousness, why do you need a drone to get the dry cleaning. There are already thousands of people a day making the journey past your dry cleaner to near you, all that’s needed is one of them to grab it and bring it to you. Many services are springing up for exactly this market – Zaarly, Exec, TaskRabbit. Have you tried any of them? If no, why not? If yes, what was lacking that made you think a drone is needed? Legitimately curious, as these services don’t exist here in London yet so I haven’t had a chance to try them myself.

  24. William Mougayar

    I would use it as depicted by Chris Anderson, which is to have the drone follow me & be summoned to shoot video of outdoor activities, like me skiing, surfing, playing outdoor with family, etc

    1. William Mougayar

      I just found out that for $300, you can buy an AR Drone now with an HD camera, Wi-Fi, a USB, and you can control it with your iPhone and it will stream to YouTube automatically. Here’s a pic.


        Wow! Looks like I was wrong Matt. They are cheap enough to shoot golf balls at.

  25. Sebastian Wain

    I’ve been thinking about that for a while…- Finding the noisy neighbor (can we add lasers to the drone?)- Analyzing car traffic ahead and looking for alternative routes- Food delivery- Security surveillance

  26. Dan Lewis

    I love how in the future, there are drones, but “dry clean only” clothes are still a thing.

    1. Robert Holtz

      Hilarious! That reminds me of Tyrell’s glasses in BLADERUNNER. His empire makes Replicants who don’t know they’re not human and artificial owls that fly majestically of their own accord but he still needs to wear those Coke-bottle glasses on the count of his bad eyesight? Epic.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Maybe he was allergic to Retinox 5.

        1. Tyler Hayes

          Or maybe he was just a badass.

          1. Robert Holtz

            “Is this to be an empathy test?” LOL.True… Tyrell is, was, and always shall be a badass. 🙂

        2. Robert Holtz

          ROFLMAO… nerd alert! Clever cross-reference, my friend. But, unlike Captain Kirk, Dr. Tyrell had access to a replacement pair of genetically-perfect synthetic eyes.Then again, since we’re fully geeking out here, Tyrell WAS originally supposed to be a Replicant himself and the glasses were intended to be a ruse of his true nature.Here’s a cool behind-the-scenes clip revealing the original plan for Tyrell’s death scene:, the raging intellect here on AVC! It is a rare and genuine pleasure.^^

          1. laurie kalmanson

            related — prosthetic arm on the bartender in the opening pages of neuromancerThe bartender’s smile widened. His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it. The antique arm whined as he reached for another mug. It was a Russian military prosthesis, a seven-function force-feedback manipulator, cased in grubby pink plastic. “You are too much the artiste, Herr Case.” Ratz grunted; the sound served him as laughter. He scratched his overhang of white-shirted belly with the pink claw. “You are the artiste of the slightly funny deal.”

      2. laurie kalmanson

        Blade runner reference +1

        1. Robert Holtz

          +1 back at ya. 🙂

          1. laurie kalmanson

            androids/electric sheep vs movie, etc

    2. ShanaC

      Life advice – lots of dry clean only clothing are that way because of the miracles of chemistry – get a book like laundry (… ) (yes this a real book) to explain how chemicals work

    3. Donna Brewington White


  27. Jack Barcroft

    Here in central Texas we have a problem with wild hogs, I would suspect that an armed drone could decimate the unwanted population with extreme prejudice and look pretty cool while doing it.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Hunt prairie dogs.

    2. pointsnfigures

      that’s a good one. then send a sensor down so we could find it butcher it and make some sausage.

  28. Matt A. Myers

    I imagine it would be more efficient (and perhaps safer?) if the dry cleaning service owned/operated the drones, or that they were centrally controlled for multiple purposes – however then there are political / military dangers with that (you’d have to balance that with concerns of danger from citizens with bad/harmful intent of course).I hope before we increase efficiencies further with drones (or other), that should technically give everyone more free time, that we will be on a path to making sure everyone is living well or getting well.

  29. William Mougayar

    Owning a drone and learning to fly it are not the same thing. There will be a need to have drone operators, or “drone chauffeurs”. Good for the job economy. Then Hailo will get into the “Hail a drone” business with an add-on to their app.

    1. LE

      One of the difficult things about flying RC is the change in orientation when the craft is flying out vs. flying in. [1] The thing is the onboard cameras take much of this challenge away since you are looking from the correct pov at all times (out the cockpit you could say). Also the on board electronics take care of much of the hard work (hovering as only one example). It’s really no big deal.

      1. William Mougayar

        It makes me want to try to pilot one.

  30. phoneranger

    Not too sound too nanny-statish or Orwellian but I’d fly well marked drones up and down the avenues (10th?) and bvlds (Queens!) of New York where drivers have a liberal interpretation of the speed limits. They might catch a few speeders but they’d have a much more useful scarecrow effect.

  31. Kirsten Lambertsen

    To follow my children *everywhere*.To catch and fine dog walkers who don’t pick up their dog’s poop.To randomly drop little bio-degradable flyers that say, “Have a great day!”

    1. Rohan

      LOL @ following your children 😀

  32. Guest

    Direct inter-city user to user delivery (replacing bike messengers) of packages, or a distributed network of drones for same day delivery

  33. Barry Nolan

    “Celebrities” are gonna looove this. I can see the domain on my horizon. TMZ just got a new business model.

  34. Guest

    Direct peer-to-peer delivery of packages (Replacing bike messengers), and a distributed network of drones that small businesses can rent out to deliver goods purchased online or on your mobile device to your home, office, or current location inter-city, hence providing 1hr delivery or same day delivery of purchases. You could also use a fleet of drones to disrupt Fedex/UPS assuming you could adequately fuel for long distances (inter-country).

  35. ayo

    Direct peer-to-peer delivery of packages (Replacing bike messengers), and a distributed network of drones that small businesses can rent out to deliver goods purchased online or on your mobile device to your home, office, or current location inter-city, hence providing 1hr delivery or same day delivery of purchases. You could also use a fleet of drones to disrupt Fedex/UPS assuming you could adequately fuel for long distances (inter-country).

    1. Balu Chandrasekaran

      #upvoted! I was actually thinking of replacing USPS mailmen/women with drones. But then I realized it would probably also require redesigning mailboxes to enable drones to insert mail, so this may not work out so well.

    2. Techman

      I wouldn’t use drones to put someone out of business, like FedEx or UPS. Chances are if a citizen has a drone, a big company will many, many more, that could also be better.

  36. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Avalanche rescue.Speed is important, access is tricky and tracks are lost through initial probing (which must be done without delay).So quarter a plausible area for Recco signals, relative to external markers (like corner flags). Visual pattern recognition using fisheye lense can also find eg clothing that may not be visible in disturbed snow from many angles. The drone can beam a probability density signal to a mapping app relative to those corner posts.With a downloadable app drones can be dispatched from lift-station to “equip” any resuce team that can geolocate itself.Having had friends who have been buried – this is a worthy one.

    1. sgleahy

      As a backcountry winter enthusiast, this is great. This could be easily adapted with existing minaturized helicopter technology (like I gave my nephews) when the search area is down to a small zone. Use a larger drone to send to avalanche immediately, and add the mini copter once the drone has shrunk the size of the target area

      1. Catkfr

        I love this idea being a backcountry skier. Deployment is an issue though as ideally, in order to maximize survival rate, the person buried should be dug out in less than 15 minutes. Therefore, your best chance of survival are your skiing buddies.The standard is (I have rarely seen Recco outside of skiing resorts):…Steps are: 1. beacon search, 2. probing, 3. digging. The drone can only help in the beacon search phase, the rest still needs man-power. In the case of a large avalanche with multiple burials, a drone could help a lot with the initial beacon sweep (no need to walk around the avalanche).Ideally, the drone should therefore be in the bag of the rescuer, in most cases the skiing buddy. It’s a tough sell as backcountry skiers (I mean those that skin up the mountain) don’t really like extra weight. Mini-drones in the backpack?If you want to dig deeper, Wildsnow has interesting views and community. You can start with this unfortunate post:

    2. ShanaC

      This is an amazing idea

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Thanks – I hate that I have only the time to work on one or two ideas.Maybe someone is doing this (Recco) should be – I would love to help


      That’s a pretty good one. That should actually be looked at today for testing purposes. Even if it just provides viewing it would be cheaper and could go into places a helicopter can’t fit.

    4. Tyler Hayes


    5. Techman

      Will it have the possibility to detect flares if a person fires them off (as a distress signal)?

      1. Wavelengths

        See my comment about peeps. That is technology that any savvy backcountry person in avalanche country will already have on his/her body.

    6. Wavelengths

      For a number of years now, backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and other adventurers, have carried a peeps — a transponder that emits a signal to help with rescue.This sounds like an excellent use of a drone — scanning for peeps should be an appropriate next level in fast-action to find a trapped person.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Hi @Wavelengths:disqus yes “peeps” is exactly what the Recco I mention in my post is. See

  37. Elia Freedman

    I’d build a business where my drone would pick up laundry all day and take it to Fred’s dry cleaner.I heard an interesting use for drones yesterday in monitoring crops. Pretty cool idea.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Farmers use ultralights today, drones can certainly replace them. It’s actually pretty amazing how high tech farming is from planting, to genetics to crop management.

  38. Rick

    I don’t need a drone. I need a clone.

  39. Dave W Baldwin

    A scary scenario coming in about 5 years is a disaster happening and drone sleuths getting involved in the manhunt.Keep eye on media use. Being able to send a drone cam out would be very useful and not require same power as hauling food,wine and/or dry cleaning.

  40. Dani

    I’m not sure I would use a drone. I love being active and having the ability to do all your errands as opposed to those who are not privileged enough is a blessing.

  41. Ana Milicevic

    I really like the idea of using drones to protect endangered species (like this program that aims to deter elephant poaching:….In my ultra-urban existence I don’t really think I need a drone but would love a more advanced Roomba (so an in-house or in-apartment robotic helper). Also I did just see Oblivion last weekend and that has made my drone-related thinking a little queasy.

    1. awaldstein

      endangered animal protection by mirror drone…like it.

    2. ShanaC

      That would be amazing – I think we need better roombas. Super urban existences and drones don’t seem go well because of the space issues…

    3. Avi Deitcher

      I second Shana’s thoughts here. We have tools to make cleaning easier, but they are still human-driven, with the limited exception of Roomba/Scooba. Fundamentally, you still clean by doing it yourself (elbow grease), or paying another human to do it. Ripe for revolution.Was inspired the same by Milton Friedman a few months back:…Don’t know how drones fit in, but I would like to find out.

    4. Josh Gorfain

      I, for one, welcome our new robotic vacuum, room cleaning overlords.

  42. Richard

    Delivery medications to Africa and other poorer / politically unstable regions.

  43. John Revay

    “dry cleaning runs” – Good off your feet answer.I am somewhat happy that we have developed drone tech, I would rather have machines fighting wars remote controlled vs boots on the ground.That said – I am worried as it sounds like there is a lot of collateral damage/ killing of Innocent people including children….

  44. RichardF

    I’d send my drone out to rescue MrsF when she gets lost in the car when she is going somewhere she’s never been before, which happens frequently. Would save me a lot of phone time and looking at google maps.and before anyone says it yes we do have satnav and no that doesn’t help…

  45. Rohan

    Begun, the drone wars have…

    1. ShanaC

      are you sure yoda?

      1. Rohan

        Mmm..hard to be sure. Difficult to see, the future is.

    2. Aaron Klein

      Best comment of this post. 🙂

  46. kenberger

    (we’re assuming no physical or regulatory constraints, so…)- pop over to my fav Napa wineries and bring back a case to my SF apt. Or better yet, to a Utah house where outside shippers aren’t allowed.- go take a peek at the JFK airport queues and stream me the image so i know when to leave for my flight today.- carry me (and others?) and our skis up to a remote mountain peak and then meet me at the bottom.- help feed people in central Africa, where there are no roads.

    1. kenberger

      middle of this page has some amazing uses that have already actually happened, such as counting turtles in Indonesia and disaster mgt in Haiti: http://www.sensefly.comSensefly is the commercial-grade version from the Parrot Drone Co.

    2. btrautsc

      ‘where we’re going, we don’t need roads’sorry. its friday.

  47. Peter Fleckenstein

    1st thing I read today and I’m glad I did. So awesome!I’m claiming, trademarking, copyrighting, and patenting this and I’m going to figure out a way to put it on kickstarter:Polidrone:*Every member of Congress will have a Polidrone assigned to them.*Each citizen will have an app on their (choose your device). They will have 24/7 access to their representatives in Congress through the Polidrone.*The citizens of each district/State will be automagically connected to each other to discuss, debate, and even vote.Once all votes are in the Polidrone will announce the vote directly to the Representative/Senator.Should any Rep/Senator ignore the People’s will the Polidrone will issue a statement” The people have spoken and you chose to ignore them’.Then the Polidrone will terminate the offending Representative/Senator!I’m accepting funding immediately.

  48. Laurent Boncenne

    So. You do realise that hanging the clothes on the drone and have it fly around for some time would dry the clothes by itself right?Seriously though, if I had drones, I’d try to get these bad boys:…Only smaller, much smaller. I’d use those to program them to behave like fireflies. Then, assuming I have a significant other, I’d propose in a forest and have those fireflies circle around us while I get on my knee and pop the question.Bonus if they have some sort of capability to stick themself to both of us making it look like we’re surrounded by a glowing aura. No one would see it, but i might record it or just keep it to ourselves as a one of a kind memory.Yes that’s cheesy. I’m cheesy. I know. I regret nothing!

  49. Josef Feldman

    hmmm.. Todays post + Yesterday’s (Ridicule&Return) +… (April Fools’)——-*first time poster, long time reader 🙂

    1. ShanaC

      why the two together are making you think? (and Hi Josef, nice glass)

      1. Josef Feldman

        Thanks Shana! Glass is awesome — Delivering things with drones was a popular april fools’ joke earlier this month which according to Fred’s Return & Ridicule post seems to be an indicator of future success… Truthfully though, after a bit more thought, April fools jokes might not count as ridicule since they’re by definition believable. Maybe we need a ‘Ridicule index’ that measures how hard people laugh at an idea and then fund those, a pretty laughable idea itself.

  50. Carl Rahn Griffith

    To soar across the skies, as free as a bird, in JLS/Bach style; its mighty brain at HQ pondering the existential and metaphysical meaning of life and randomly scattering messages of goodwill, love and peace – along with fresh roses – onto the populace below.

  51. Mac

    Observe shark movement close to shore all along the inhabited coastline…..or,let me know when my in-laws are close

    1. pointsnfigures

      same thing

      1. Mac

        You got it! Just not sure which one concerns me more.

  52. JamesHRH

    Hover over my kids, like a balloon w a camera.What I really want is an android Exec Asst.

  53. Hayden Williams

    I’d use my drone to check out the line at Shake Shack…Trying to build one by 12pm today

    1. ShanaC

      I actually think this is going to be a very typical case

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Much cheaper for the Shake Shack to just install a Webcam streaming to their Web site, isn’t it?

  54. Josh Gorfain

    dropping payloads of condoms on high schools in areas that promote “abstinence-only” sex education.

  55. Paul Sanwald

    – antagonize my dog, milo. like a lot of city dogs, milo leads a pretty charmed life and I think a little stress would be healthy.- meet me with a bike at a random location. I’d love to go for a really long run, end up in westchester, and have a bike to ride home on. I don’t want to have to plan ahead where I’m going to end up, that’s part of the fun!

  56. ShanaC

    Putting traffic up on youtube streaming. Then cut a deal with Google to be that site for traffic the way the others are for the weather 🙂

    1. Avi Deitcher

      My friend founded CleverCommute, he crowdsources the transit data, combined with info from the not-so-open APIs that exist from the official providers, and resells the data to various radio and other sources.

  57. takingpitches

    A drone KozmoSeriously though, drones would solve the physical last mile for smaller e-tail outfits

  58. andrew thomas

    I think the killer app right now for drones is photography/videography. check out these awesome videos people have made with Parrots.…Here is a crazy video about what they could be used for… like construction and creating maps of building interiors.…The delivery aspect has been made into a joke (sure sign it’s a winner ;-), there are lots of first responder applications: search and rescue, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, hostage situations, swat operation, police stake outs.Imagine if you could volunteer to do search and rescue in a disaster area via a drone!

  59. DanielHorowitz

    I grant the experience of calling them on the phone and dealing with payment is not all that great, but I’m 95% there are dry cleaners in your area that do pickup and delivery. If it were in NYC, do you think you would use something like ?

  60. Jeff Taylor

    For aerial photography.. and probably snack drops while I’m out hiking.

  61. Abhishek

    My list would beMy Use CasesPick up groceriesCheck real-time traffic. You can share drone info hereFind parking spots. Again share drone infoPackage deliveries — Obvious onePost/Mail DeliveryBroad Use CasesSuper detailed mappingFarming applications — Spraying insecticides etcRescue applicationsBorder patrolTrafficking control

  62. skysurfer172

    As a pilot I hope citizen’s will be properly regulated and responsible in their drone use as I’d rather not fly into a swarm of them in my little Cessna.

  63. leapy

    Pizza delivery to high-rise buildings. Or any take away food in high traffic congestion areas.

  64. BillMcNeely

    Traffic. Real time birds eye view of a major vein of traffic not just major intersections. Kill off news helicopters.

  65. Donna Brewington White

    School security …metal/gun/drug detection.

  66. Peter Fleckenstein

    I just had a real world real time experience that a drone could be used immediately for. It would benefit everyone. I’m also writing this to vent because I’m absolutely LIVID and need to cool down.I’m at an Einstein Bagels and I’m seated parallel to the front window. A car pulls up… dads driving with a toddler & baby (car seat) in the back. The back seat, driver side window is rolled down. Ok so far, so good.Then Dad and toddler get out and start walking. Baby is still in the car seat & window is still down. Dad sees me looking out at him and he turns around towards the car. He opens the front door of the car, rolls the back window up, locks the car doors, and walks into Einstein!I watched him and the toddler in the store. They were in there for 5 minutes. He turned around to check on his baby twice for a total of 10 seconds. I watched the baby in the car too. He and the toddler walk out.I followed him outside and said to him “In the 5 minutes you were in the store I could’ve gotten into your car and taken your baby 7 times and you wouldn’t have noticed. He chuckled at me. Yeah he did.I told him that he was a sorry ass excuse for a father and should never leave his child in the car for any reason at any time no matter what. He chuckled again!I then said to him – “Look you POS, you should be ashamed and disgusted with yourself! I should have told you in front of everyone inside. If I ever see you do that again, anywhere, I will beat you and beat you good. Are we clear?”He said yes and got into his car and drove off.This isn’t the first, second, or third time I’ve seen this happen. What is wrong with parents like that?!!!So I would put drones in parking lots that would identify kids left in cars and then would be able to alert police or security in the parking lot. NOT the parents! I’d bet that the word would get out quickly and those types of parents wouldn’t think about being those types of parents.Thanks for letting me vent.

    1. Aaron Crowe

      I am glad you went up and talked to him.. I wouldn’t have done that myself …

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        Yes you would have. Unless you’re a heartless cold bastard. That’s a child and we all have a responsibility to protect every child. We will never have to but there will be an occasion or two or three when it happens.


    I would use a drone for spying on you Gadgeteer! Just to see if you have an beta test gadgets for investing in.

  68. Balu Chandrasekaran

    I’m sure this is already done all over the world, but it’d be great to use drones to drop off supplies and equipment during natural disasters right here in America (hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms etc.). Would save money and human lives.Or remote surveillance for 911 emergency calls, so cops have an idea of what’s going on at the trouble spot so they can adequately prepare for it. (Ok yes, this gets into Fourth Amendment territory)

  69. matthughes

    Photography, including video.Filming live action events like football & baseball games from unique angles, including for improved instant-replay.I know the NFL is already petitioning the FAA for increased access.

  70. Guest

    Here’s one to monetize the Load-for-Bear demographic: Palindrone. Engineered to fly back-to-front and front-to-back simultaneously, causing it to spin in place whilst doling its owner’s dinero to consultants. Ejaculates clouds of FUD then self destructs.

  71. bfeld

    Water bottle and food drops when I’m out for a long run. Also, delivery of take out food – especially chinese and pizza – to my remote house. Call it “KozmoDrone”

    1. fredwilson

      i have been to your house in the mountains. that would require a drone with a fair bit of range!

  72. nickfenton

    My buddy owns a pizza joint here in Louisville, KY and I suggested he be the first in the world to offer drone delivery. Even better, attach a camera to the drone so people can watch real time via web as it flies to your house. Of course there are plenty of potential problems, but how cool would that be? :)p.s. – Dry cleaning ruins clothes. Machine wash, hang dry, and iron just before it’s completely dry. Your clothes will live forever.

    1. bsoist

      Of course there are plenty of potential problemsya think? 🙂

  73. jimmystone


  74. Teren Botham

    I would handover the drone to my 8 year old son. And he said he would use it to locate hunters hiding in the forest preying at animals

  75. Vasudev Ram

    A drone that will come and pick me up when any vehicle I am in, breaks down.

    1. Tyler Hayes


      1. Vasudev Ram

        Yes, why not.Also, it should controllable by voice or SMS – via mobile – so I can order it to go get me some grub when I’m too busy to get it myself :)As a kid, I actually dreamed up an invention that I called the AirCar (TM :).We were living in a multi-storey building at the time, and having read comics like the Jetsons, etc., I came up with the idea of a personal flying car, that could seat maybe one or two people, and that could take off and land vertically, without needing a runway, so we could get into it when it was on the floor in our flat, and then it would rise up, out of the window, fly wherever we wanted to, and come back through the window and land on the floor .. :-)Later on I got to know about VTOL/STOL aircraft, and it was interesting to see that my “invention” actually became reality, at least in a limited form, via the Moller aircraft, which was something like my AirCar idea …. the picture on that page – stunning. It’s similar to my AirCar idea, except that I didn’t think of having 4 engines and a rotor on top. I just thought of some sort of jet engine with an exhaust at the back.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          It is called the Moller SkyCar. Prescient of me, even if I do say so myself …

  76. David Clarke

    I fear that despite our best intentions, our drones will be superficially helpful & useful, be free at point of use, and as a quid-pro-quo will follow us around offering annoying and intrusive advertising. They will also refuse to respect our privacy, hovering around in the restroom and the bedroom the better to refine their commercial recommendations.

  77. thorsky

    Real-time precision agriculture. One example: drone uses GPS to fly to a specific field, pick up a soil sample, and fly back to base to have it tested. Fertilizer or herbicide levels adjusted accordingly.

  78. Brad Lindenberg

    I wonder if one day there will be a startup that manages the GPS coordinates for the location of all personal drones. A bit like what return path does for email, but for drones so that they don’t crash into each other. It would make a good USV investment!This is cool:

  79. Tyler Hayes

    Army of flying hamsters to brighten up everyone’s day.

    1. Techman

      Ha ha! You know, I would like to see an army of flying hamsters. That would be an interesting sight.

  80. Homer Bartlett

    I saw a Pop Sci article recently about an Iranian company working on a lifeguard drone that would drop flotation aids to people drowning. I think this sounds awesome. What about another beach drone that would just patrol along the shore and alert the lifeguards upon detection of sharks?

  81. David Petersen

    I would like a wifi equipped drone that can fly me around the USA while I work on my laptop. Fun way to spend a workday.

  82. David Anderson is mechanical turk-ing your drone dream. I’d be happy to make an introduction.

    1. William Mougayar

      It says on-demand helper & it requires my mobile number. That doesn’t seem like a normal procedure.

  83. Bill Siegel

    You need a dashlocker in your building!

  84. Guest

    My drones would be used for estimating crop production and status. The drones would fly low over agricultural fields taking photographs. The data collected would be processed and store on the cloud. You could query over mobile for various aspects of the crop. I am from a developing country and there are no restrictions here on the usage of drones as yet.

  85. Guest

    My drones would clean all the windows in super-skyscrapers and do all the sandblasting and maintenance work where it’s difficult to put humans and winches.

  86. Ron Williams

    911 can send them ahead to scout out the scene of the call for first responders. I’d use them to fly ahead and tell me about traffic.

  87. Sketchfab

    One of the most amazing uses we have seen is for cultural heritage reconstruction…

  88. Cima

    When it’s too hot outside, I’ll have my drone block the sun, like an umbrella in the sky. It’ll trail me, giving just the right amount of shade. Every once in a while it’ll fly by very low and then up so that it’ll (hopefully) give me and anyone who asks a cooling breeze.Then at night, especially during a full moon, it’ll configure it’s wings like a bat so that it’ll fly in front of the moon, or any large light, so that it’ll look like a Batman logo like in the first Batman movie.

  89. george

    Fly along the coastline and stream back my daily surf report. That would be fun to control…

  90. markslater

    watching over my kids. They are so f**king precious to me, i’d wrap them in wool if i could…..

  91. Youssef Rahoui

    3 weeks ago, I have attended a conference in Paris by the CMO of Parrot organized by a leading magazine publisher. The topic was “drone journalism” and he talked about some interesting use cases like accessing dangerous zones to take photos.

  92. Donna Brewington White

    Very sly Crystle slipping that in. I just can’t tell if you are joking.On child labor:Some of my best memories are of times spent in servitude to my gentleman-gardener dad. Only years later can I appreciate the richness of those moments spent working alongside him with the smell of earth and growing things — wonderful aromatherapy. At the time I wanted to be doing something else.Keep the child labor. I’m not sure these kids really do have anything better to do in the scheme of things.

  93. kidmercury

    perhaps the information awareness office can be re-started to administer kookster drones.

  94. Donna Brewington White

    Gardening is complicated where I live due to wildlife. But it is something to which I aspire.A few years back frustrated with the difference in taste between tomatoes from a friend’s garden and what is available in most stores, I decided to try growing tomatoes in pots on the patio. (Didn’t get very far because the plants got eaten in the night. Could’ve used those scaredrones.)Funny anecdote from that experience — I emailed my dad with excitement asking for advice about my “patio garden.” His response: ” I know nothing about patio gardens.” The sneer was palpable. Dear ole Dad. He earned that arrogance. A master gardener.