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IBM Files Patent For a Coffee Delivery Drone- seniorhelpline.info

IBM Files Patent For a Coffee Delivery Drone

It would know when you need a caffeine boost and fly over with your fancy coffee.

ibm coffee drone
IBM/US Patent Office

A new patent from IBM could bring new meaning to instant coffee. The patent describes a drone that could detect when a person is tiring and fly over with a cup of coffee on demand—so no need to worry if yours is the one street corner without a Starbucks.

In its patent, IBM imagines a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle, flying over a group of people and:

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"scanning the people, using one or more sensors connected to the UAV...which identifies an individual among the people that may have a predetermined cognitive state, based on sensor data and flying the UAV to the individual that may have a predetermined cognitive state to deliver the drink."

In other words, the drone would be able to detect barometers of a person's energy such as blood pressure, pupil dilation, and facial expressions, and then give them a caffeinated boost as a result. These metrics could be tracked through a Fitbit-style device or even a person's digital calendar, noting when their appointments are during the day.

IBM's scenario offers multiple options for coffee delivery. The coffee drone could be also be summoned by a hand motion, for example. There are also multiple options for delivering the coffee itself. One hypothetical has coffee poured directly into a person's mug, while another offers a full service approach by delivering coffee in a sealed bag to protect the recipient from getting poured on from above.

IBM is also pondering drone delivery for another popular drink: alcohol. In this version of the drone, its biometric-reading features would act in reverse. Detecting unsteadiness or slurred speech, the drone could tell when to cut off an inebriated customer.

Patents do not indicate that a company yet possesses the technology they are patenting, nor does it suggest that the company might create such a product in the future. Similar to Amazon's patent for underwater warehouses, IBM is merely indicating that there is some internal interest in the idea. Nothing may come of it.

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Beyond theatrical drinking, there is also the somewhat dystopian idea that such a drone could eliminate the coffee break. For decades, science fiction has predicted automated eating as a way for corporations to control assembly lines. Perhaps the most famous of these was in Charlie Chaplin's 1936 silent film Modern Times, where a machine that does the work of eating for workers in the name of efficiency goes horribly wrong.

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