Drones are one of those inventions that people from 20 years ago would have never seen coming. Sure, many of us anticipated robots to be present in some form, but nobody could have expected that they'd be able to fly or take off vertically! Even weirder, nobody would have predicted that anyone could purchase these bots online at relatively little cost.
Still, drones have made their mark on our society -- and in many ways, we're all the better for it. Drones assist in many industries -- from safety inspections to deliveries, and even the medical field. Now, for the first time, drones will be able to do something for ordinary consumers that they've never been able to do officially: shoot fire.
Yes, it sounds completely insane, but an engineering company has developed a flamethrower accessory that can be mounted on some of the most popular drones on the market. The product goes on sale in the coming months, but is our society really ready for flying, flame-spitting robots that ordinary people can control? Or is the whole thing bound to crash and burn?
Throwflame introduces the TF-19 WASP
Flamethrowing drones aren't an entirely new creation. Amateurs have been making them and showing them off on YouTube for years now -- and it's easy to see why.
Robots are cool, and robots that shoot fire out of their mouths are like something out of a dystopian fiction movie! But safety concerns and engineering issues have kept flamethrowing drones more of a curiosity than a trend -- until now.
Enter Throwflame, a flamethrower development company, that is introducing its first-ever drone-mounted flamethrower accessory to the market. The TF-19 WASP mounts on quadcopter drones, and is able to shoot fire up to 25 feet for up to a minute and a half with only a mere half-gallon of fuel.
But why on Earth would anyone want such a dangerous toy?
The method behind the madness
Well, for starters, drones aren't always toys for people who use them industrially. In fact, the intended purpose for the TF-19 WASP is actually agricultural and environmental management. Developers envision their product being used by forest managers, for example, who can use the drones to safely clear trails or burn away excess brush without putting human lives in danger.
Beyond that, the company also sees a use for the TF-19 in the world of special effects. Pyrotechnic experts could use flame-mounted drones for jaw-dropping movie magic, and since the robots are able to fly, they can be positioned in ways that weren't possible until now.
Needless to say, the idea of ordinary civilians having access to tiny, flying death machines is a bit disturbing. But it's not like Throwflame is new to this kind of controversy.
In fact, their other flamethrower products are available for consumers as well, and we haven't seen our cities torched to ashes just yet. Plus, the device and drones themselves are still subject to federal safety regulations that keep them from being a nuisance to the public.
The TF-19 WASP went on sale Thursday, July 18 for a lean $1,499. If you're interested in picking it up, you can check out Throwflame's website for more details.
But be careful: playing with fire can get you burned. As for me, I'll be sticking to boring, unequipped drones (that might secretly be sending covert data to foreign governments). At least those won't melt my face off.
How to shoot great videos with your drone
Have you flown a drone? It's so much fun to get one airborne and it's pretty easy, too, if you practice. Don't let shaky, bouncy video happen to you!