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Google's Newest Patent Is a Bot-Box on Wheels

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on February 12, 2016 5:59 AM

No, we're not talking abot Google's self-driving vehicles that are becoming ubiquitous in Silicon Valley. We're talking about the "mobile delivery receptacle," a vehicle specifically designed to accept and deliver packages shuttled to it by the company's hoards of courier-drones.

It's a good thing that Google got this one patented, too. Who knows what the prior art on this concept is.

A Patent Granted

The patent is a major win for the search engine company because it gets to be the first to rake in whatever profits are to be had. The patent is the latest page in "Project Wing": an ambitious push for widespred drone delivery. At least one blogger ominously described Project Wing as Google's "airborne prong of its total world domination campaign."

World Domination? Looks like world domination began in the deserts of Australia...

A Rolling Box: Patent #: US009244147

Behold...I bring you, the "mobile delivery receptacle!"

Google's Patented Rolling Box

Patent #: US009244147

The above image was taken from geekwire.com and sourced originally from the USPTO.

It almost looks as if a grade school kid could have drawn that, right? Lack of sexy name aside, the box also has other issues that critics were quick to point out. First, what is to stop it from getting hijacked from persons hoping to one-up the people cast in Jack-Ass?

Mobile ... but Secure?

More importantly, how will the box, once it has procured your package from a drone, recognize a safe place to drop off your package? After all, what good is a mobile delivery vehicle that drops your parcel off say -- in your yard?

Perhaps these details will be fleshed out in a later patent that will work with the one just granted. Or maybe the box will simply plant itself somewhere until you can be contacted to pick it up more-or-less near your home. Who really knows?

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