Google's highly anticipated Project Wing has taken a big step forward, after the company was granted a patent for an admittedly quite bizarre box on wheels. Or should I say 'Delivery receptacle'...
The box, complete with infra-red beacons, is understood to be Google's answer to the much asked question of where exactly drone deliveries should drop their goods. It seems that the idea is for the receptacle (hi-tech box on wheels) to be notified of an incoming delivery. It'll then get into position, presumably outside the lucky person's home somewhere.
Infra-red beacons from transmitters within the box will work alongside the drone to ensure they find one another, and once everything is lined up, the Google drone will drop the package into the box. Once the package is secure, your nifty box on wheels will wheel itself back on inside. Delivery done.
Of course the patent states this in a rather more complicated manner. “The delivery device transports the package to the delivery address and locates one or more first beacons being transmitted by a delivery receptacle at the delivery address. The delivery device navigates to the delivery receptacle based on the triangulated position and transmits a second beacon to the delivery receptacle.”
Google has said that it's drones could be ready for delivery action as early as next year, but it remains to be seen if issues surrounding regulation and safety will be dealt with as quickly as rapidly developing drone technology.