Netherlands-based Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) recently launched what it calls the “world’s first drone café,” a pop-up café that aimed to demonstrate to the public the potential of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) applications.
Open to the public on April 22-24, the café, located on the university’s campus, featured prototypes of a TU/e-developed UAS that flew around and served drinks independently and autonomously.
The drone café was an initiative of 20 students under the name “Blue Jay” and was part of the three-day Dream & Dare Festival, which marked the 60th anniversary of the university’s founding.
According to TU/e, the drone, which has enclosed blades, is based on four key things: safety, helpfulness (thanks to a multifunctional gripper), communication and autonomy.
A video from the university explains that the Blue Jay drone “is an intelligent bird that lives in complex social environments” – e.g., indoors around people.
“We want people to use their knowledge to find a good purpose for these domestic drones,” the video says.
Tessie Hartjes, student and team manager of the project, explains, “We all need to decide together what tasks new technologies can carry out for us in the future.”