Flamethrowers have been in the news a lot lately, with Elon Musk’s “Not-A-Flamethrower” going viral in recent weeks. Back in January, around 20,000 people paid $500 for the propane-fueled devices, which are sold by The Boring Company, or TBC. Six months later, on June 9, the first 1,000 were delivered and many have been using them in ways that the manufacturers surely didn’t expect or intend.
Twitter - @kgon
While the drone with a flamethrower isn’t connected to Musk or his company, it’s interesting that they’re popping up now. And as crazy as this new device sounds, it actually has a practical purpose. The idea came from the issue of when random debris gets tangled up in power lines. Airborne objects often make contact with the wires, which is dangerous because this can lead to problems like breaking lines, power outages and sometimes much worse. Because of their height, it can be quite difficult to reach them.
Twitter - @o4america
Enter the Flamethrower drone. As opposed to previous solutions like specialized vehicles or even professionals being manually raised up to the problem areas, this new option is much safer, for the humans at least. Videos of the drones have appeared online and people don’t know what to think. One of the clips shows the device flamethrowing debris off a line. An electric power maintenance company is Xiangyang, China is using them, with more to come. They cost around $2,500 and time will tell if they’ll become a normal thing.
Beyond seeing if the flamethrower drones will be used as intended, there’s a definite possibility that people will start experimenting. Hopefully, the alternate uses won’t be too dangerous, and maybe people will even find another practical function for the crazy device. Between now and then, check out one of the videos below...