Wait till Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks see this one.
IBM has been granted a patent for delivering coffee by drone when sensing a predetermined cognitive state of an individual or sensing that a drink is desired by an individual.
The system would determine if a person needs a coffee by assessing sleep quality, time of day, electronic calendar, biometrics, blood pressure, pupil dilation, factual expression analysis, the time an individual woke up in the morning or gesture analysis.
If a perspective declines the offering of coffee, another nearby person could be potentially interested and offered the prepared and ready coffee. A person could use a gesture like waving to indicate an interest in having a coffee delivered to them.
So as not to offend by not serving coffee to certain members of a group, one drone may summon another drone to fulfill an unexpected large coffee demand.
It gets even more interesting. If a coffee drone has a limited supply of coffee, it could either summon a second coffee drone to supply the additional need or it could allow people below the drones bid for the remaining coffees.
A coffee drone could take advantage of social psychological effects “by first providing coffee to a person who is popular, famous or otherwise has a high social status, as social proof is known to be magnified by such factors,” states the patent.
A four-propeller drone is illustrated in the patent, though any drone configuration that can fly within an anticipated area could be used, as long as it has sufficient strength to deliver coffee in the volumes required.
Any drone size could be used, though the patent suggests that it should not be larger than needed for the mission “to reduce potential harm due to collision or other failure.”
The drone would include a coffee holder, a clamp to hold the drink and a gimbal joint to keep the coffee upright as the drone flies. Accompaniments, such as milk or sugar, could be dispensed from a tube under control of the drone.
The drone would carry sensors to monitor the heat of the coffee and a heater, which could be automatically used when a drink falls below a certain temperature.
The coffee could be made by a person or a coffee maker to start the process.
The drone could be loaded with sensors that can determine heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, pupil dilation, breathing rate, skin temperature, the chemical composition of the breath of a user, the extent of movement and other parameters that could be analyzed to determine tiredness, sleepiness or grogginess.
Not sure what this would do to the price of a cup of coffee.