See title, add catcher's mitt.
Only very serious muggers will mess with Ed.
Google has been granted a patent for a "mobile delivery receptacle" - a vehicle designed to accept airborne drone deliveries and take them to a "secure location, such as into a garage" at the recipient's address. The patent blurb explains: "Unmanned, aerial delivery services may be problematic for delivery to users. For …
"What's equally unclear is how it'll get from the drone drop-off point to the customer's garage without being mugged."
I'd bet simply inside the delivery bot. Sure you can still steal the whole thing (unless it turns out to be really heavy or something), but it should prevent casual swiping...
Yep. The main reason mail theft isn't a bigger issue is because it is a federal crime in the US to tamper with the mail. Maybe Google will use that massive lobbying apparatus to make it a federal crime to tamper with the Google walking mailbox when it carries the package from the drone to the garage.
Why not give Amazon the RF code to your garage so they can open the door and fly right in, drop off the package, then close the door behind itself? *runs off to patent office*
"For example, leaving the package on the front porch of a busy street address may make it more likely that the package is stolen."
That's what happens to Amazon deliveries now, so why start worrying when it's tossed there by a flying drone rather than a truck-driving drone?
Wouldn't a trebuchet or some such be simpler? It could even be a smart parcel and they should be able to deliver it right through the front window. If the military can do it with munitions why can't Google do it with packages?
Icon because someone at Google might think this to be a good idea.
Are you new? This is how all patents are written. They are full of language describing several potential ways to implement the patented function, then the patent lawyer's favorite weasel words "but not limited to" come out to capture all the other ways you were too lazy to write down (since patent lawyers aren't paid by the word, even though you'd think so after reading a few) as well as all the ways you didn't think of but want to sue someone else for later.
I can't see the idea of delivery by drone being practical except for a vanishingly small percentage of deliveries. The main problem is that most delivery addresses are nowhere near any place where it would be sufficiently safe for an automated drone to navigate to and land. A secondary problem is that a battery operated drone won't have sufficient range to deliver more that a few miles from a warehouse.
Human piloted aircraft are constrained to fly at a height sufficient to be able to land clear of any congested area should they suffer a power failure. Any useful delivery drone has to be large enough to cause fatal injuries if it were to fall on a person, so would surely be subject to a very similar regulation. But unlike fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters, multi-rotor craft have zero gliding ability, so they would need to be equipped with a reliable fail-safe emergency parachute system at the very least, and even then I cannot see them getting approval. They would also no doubt only be permitted to deliver to an area that was guaranteed to be free of people, otherwise there is a high risk that someone could walk into the lethally rotating rotors of a drone as it came in to make a delivery. Which means having a navigations system that is more dependable than a GPS receiver operating amongst urban canyons.
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