DVICE has an interesting concept bot up today:
We’re all for a future where robots deliver us packages quickly and efficiently, and that’s exactly what the Cargonaut is programmed to do. Thought up by German-based industrial designer Matthias Schmiedbauer, an army of the robo-copters would be able to buzz around an urban center, bypassing traffic and delivering a package straight to you. Or from you, as the designer describes:
Cargonaut, a humanoid flight robot, comes to your current position to relieve you of your loads. After placing your bags or luggage in one of the publicly available sky boxes, Cargonaut delivers within minutes to a chosen destination.
It’s a slick looking design, but the truth is that this technology has existed for well over a decade. I worked on a project as a youngster that came from some ex-General Dynamics skunkworks folks that proved this concept. Due to lack of funding (and the world of UAVs somehow staying unsexy), the project never really progressed.
The patents have now progressed into public domain that existed last decade, so hopefully we’ll see more movement in this area. This is a project and a service we could have today. I want it.