Promising a future where no one is ever more than a few minutes away from a really rough trip to the bathroom, national burrito chain (and patrons of high-end literature) Chipotle have started a pilot program to use drones to deliver their food. Working with Alphabet, the parent company of Google, the fast food chain is testing out drone delivery at Virginia Tech University.
According to Bloomberg, Alphabet chose to partner with Chipotle because of the interesting challenges—fragility, heat, salsa—that food delivery imposes on Project Wing, the company’s initiative to get drone delivery up-and-running in the United States. Virginia Tech was chosen, meanwhile, because the school is one of six “test bed” locations the Federal Aviation Authority has set up to experiment with further uses of drones.
The drones—which are apparently like small Harrier jets, capable of switching between flight and hover modes, as opposed to the little toy quadcopters you might be more familiar with—will be operated via automation, locating customers and lowering their food to them via a winch. Sadly, though, said “burrito winch” won’t be available to rank-and-file students at Virginia Tech; while the program is being tested, only specially selected (and shielded, in accordance with FAA regulations) participants will be able to get their indigestion delivered on the fly.