Let’s go behind the scenes with Jerky Bot

Sometimes we sit back at ReadWrite, take in the overwhelming opportunities and challenges of this thing we call the Internet of Things and realize sometimes we just want to have a little fun while we discover something awesome.

Enter JerkyBot:

We had a debate on this here at ReadWrite. There’s no way this is real. A flying chopping board? A jerky drone? David Ortiz? Come on now. Ok, it looks cool, I said, let’s get it up on Facebook.

Millions of hits later — what can I say, people love jerky on demand — we wanted to know more.

A few months ago, the viral video geniuses at Thinkmodo got a call from the jerky pros at Chef’s Cut.

“They challenged us to come up with a fun and original viral video concept that would get people talking about the brand online,” said Thinkmodo co-founder Michael Krivicka. “A few beers later, we came up with the idea of creating a flying snack tray.”

Of course.

A fun shoot — and Jerky Bot 2.0?

A few months later, and the first fully tested prototype ready. Krivicka said our skepticism wasn’t unusual. “Lots of people question whether the JerkyBot is real or not  — many think it was CGI — but it is 100% real. We made a number of them already. It flies. It carries the snack.”

Andy Shen of Shen Drones — featured in the video — was involved in the design and testing. Randy Slavin of Yeah Drones worked on the mechanics, and other technicians helped bring Jerky Bot to life.

It’s taken off – literally and figuratively.

“We have been getting a bunch of requests for the JerkyBot since we posted the video on Facebook a week ago, so there is definitely a demand there,” said Krivicka about the exciting possibility of an Amazon drone delivering you a new Jerky Bot drone to play with sometime soon. “The next step is to perfect the prototype which can take months,” said Krivicka.

And this is where we come back to what Readwrite readers know best: solving the tech challenges.

“Things to consider are extending battery life, reducing weight, and most importantly the close-to-person autonomous function. There are a bunch of autonomous drones out there already, each using different tracing technology, so for us it’s now figuring out what will work best,” he said.

See also: Of course machine learning can help you sort cucumbers

So the team at Chef’s Cut and Thinkmodo have a challenge that Uber, Ford, Tesla, Google and many other automakers are facing right now. “The autonomous part is something that still needs a lot of work, so we will be doing more experimenting with that for the next few months,” he said. “We are still in the early stages with this but the idea is to mass produce it one day and make it a fun but safe consumer product.”

He added that they’re now looking for more drone experts to team up with and do more testing and experimenting. 

And Big Papi? He owns part of the jerky company and so “was happy to be in the video.” Shot about a month ago in Boston, Krivicka says the shoot was “all pure fun.” And it sure looks that way.

And let’s get serious again, if for just a moment — you know that a new technology, like drones, has true bite (get it? get it?) when it goes beyond the “Can you believe it?” stage and shows up in a great, goofy setting for a smart ad campaign. What that really means is the concept has enough currency with the public to be memorable and deliver the message.

This new connected world is already here; it’ll be amazing to see where it takes us. It all seems very satisfying…but will we bite off more than we chew? (Ok, seriously, that was my last one).

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