As part of its Project Wing delivery system, Google has filed a patent for a drone â€œdelivery receptacleâ€ designed to received parcels from drones and keep them in a secure and safe location.
While details on the receptacle are relatively scarce, the patent shows that infra-red technology will be used to help guide the drone to the delivery location, helping it to drop the item off safely, before taking it to a defined location such as a garage.
When contacted, Google declined to comment on the latest update. However Dave Vos, the leader of Project Wing, has previously said that they expect drone delivery of packages to be a viable option by the end of 2017, with a series of tests currently being carried out at the Ames Research Centre in the US in collaboration with NASA.
Originally designed by Google as a method of getting a defibrillator to someone suffering a heart attack, Project Wing has since expanded to look at commercial package delivery, and the use of drones as electronic couriers is something that retailers such as Amazon are looking to develop.
The major sticking point in the use of drones for commercial purposes in the US has been the need for the Federal Aviation Administration to state the final rules on what is permissible. This clarification is expected in the latter part of 2016 yet while major changes to aviation law arenâ€™t expected, until then no commercial drone deliveries will be possible.
However this latest patent from Google will push the technology one step closer to a reality, and will open up the doors for new methods of product delivery that ultimately could prove cheaper and significantly faster than traditional drivers, and therefore give businesses a better range of options for fulfilment of sales.
Are you excited for the future of courier delivery services with drones? Let us know in the comments.