Concerns over drones becoming a nuisance and invading privacy have led the FAA to make registrations mandatory. However, despite this move, drones are still viewed as potential threats to power line and pets.
In a bid to counter and alleviate these worries, Google has devised a new robot that could be the answer to the problem.
On Tuesday, a new patent granted to Google as part of "Project Wing" - the company's secret project pertaining to drone delivery - offers insight on how the company will deploy drones to deliver packages to businesses and households.
The patent, entitled "Automatic package delivery to a delivery receptacle" and filed by Google in 2014, intends to collect packages from an "aerial delivery device" and deposit it in a safe location.
According to the patent, Google has created "mobile delivery receptacles" that will work in tandem with the company's delivery drones for a reliable system of delivery.
The patent highlights the fact that UAV-oriented deliveries can pose safety concerns.
"Unmanned, aerial delivery devices may be problematic for delivery to users. For example, an aerial delivery device that is powered by a rotor or an impeller may be dangerous to pets, overhead powerlines, ceiling fans or other features," says the patent.
The patent asserts that it intends to make deliveries more reliable and accurate through the UAVs. It outlines a system where the delivery drone will be in touch with the device through IR emitters.
The notion is that the mobile delivery receptacles are plausibly remote boxes on the ground with wheels. These will be guiding and communicating with the air-bound drones through the IR emitters. Once the drone has been located, it will fly down to the ground and transfer the package to the mobile delivery receptacle.
The mobile delivery receptacle will secure the received package and deliver it to the holding destination, where the package will be kept safely. It is presumed that the customer will be able to pick up the package from this secure location once informed of its arrival. The package may also be delivered to the customer's address by local ground transportation.
Google announced its drone delivery service - Project Wing - in a video on YouTube in 2014. However, little was known about the service. Recently, the company hinted that it intends to launch the service in 2017 and the granting of the patent suggests that the launch is not far away.