Just Eat is trialling drone delivery in Ireland - here's how it works

Already used by businesses like Amazon, drone delivery technology is finally being trialled by food companies.

Just Eat is set to trial its first delivery drones at University College Dublin, with hopes that soon they will be used to bring food to your door.

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The online ordering app has teamed up with Irish drone company, Manna Aero. The firm has provided a drone that Just Eat believes can deliver your order "in three minutes" from ordering.

Students at the university will be able to order food from Just Eat, Ben & Jerry's and a local Thai restaurant called Camile Thai.

The founder of Manna Aero, Bobby Healy, said, “It's clear that drone delivery provides a faster, cleaner, safer, cheaper and higher quality alternative to road-based delivery. We are excited about how that will improve the world.”

Food from the skies

Drone delivery is taking a while to take off. Amazon completed the first delivery via drone back in 2016, and Google's parent company, Alphabet, managed to deliver the first food order in Australia last year.

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Medical companies also use drones to fly in first aid kits, defibrillators, and other emergency medical equipment into hard to reach places.

But having hundreds of drones delivering orders across a main city requires a lot of testing and regulations to ensure public safety. In London, for example, drones cannot fly within 150 metres of densely packed buildings, but in Ireland, Just Eat will be delivering to almost 30,000 students.

Just Eat will be using custom-developed aerospace grade drones which can fly up to speeds of roughly 50 miles an hour.

The students will be able to order, but have to locate the drone's drop off point to meet the delivery. The drone will then descend 15 metres, and lower the food on a string.