But now, the skies, at least in the U.K., have finally opened up to fast food: Domino's Pizza has carried out a delivery order by drone helicopter.
Video of the DomiCopter—developed by Aerosight—was posted by T + Biscuits, the creative agency brought in by the pizza chain's U.K. headquarters. The copter reportedly can deliver up to two large pizzas over a four-mile radius in 10 minutes or less.
“If anything, it went quicker than a pizza boy," T + Biscuits founder Tom Hatton told Fox News. "We were amazed at how easy it was going to be.”
Of course, there are a few caveats about the drone delivery.
First, it was not technically a drone mission. While Domino's said GPS coordinates could potentially be used in future delivery flights, this inaugural mission was controlled by an experienced drone copter pilot who had the benefit of several cameras to help guide the flight.
Second, drone flights come with several restrictions in the U.S. For example, commercial drone flights are illegal in the U.S. until 2015. Even then, in most states, drones can fly up to around 400 feet but must have the permission of landowners before entering private property.
That could easily be handled by a one-click legal agreement with each online drone delivery order. But for now, the politics and science of drone food delivery remain complicated.
In the meantime, Domino's U.K. says it will conduct further tests, including whether the drone can handle a larger payload to incorporate items such as 2-liter bottles of soda into future deliveries.