The coffee drone: a new revolution in the industry

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The world evolves as fast as technology does. There will be a time in which we will be replaced by baristas robot before than can be delivered by a coffee drone or maybe it’s the other way around.

The latest news is about the coffee drone which is starting to be considered by the big company such as Costa Coffee, Google or IBM, a well-known computer hardware company.

There have been several tests in the last few months and some coffee cup has already been delivered around the world.

Coffee Drone Projects

That is the case, for example, of Project Wing, a test made by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

project wing - coffee droneProject Wing by Alphabet

This test has finally become a reality in Canberra, Australia, where the drone has been approved by the Australian’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority currently serving food and coffee in an area of 5 km radius (but it will be soon extended to the nearest areas).

The drone can travel at a speed of 85 miles per hour and deliver the service in about 10 minutes. Coffee or food package is then dropped down everywhere thanks to an algorithm.

The company says the service is “faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than what’s possible today on the ground.” Even if it seems inevitable, I’m not sure that drone deliveries are going to spread everywhere soon.

I truly do not hope so. I enjoy the ritual of coffee. Maybe sometimes I just enter a coffee shop and decided to change my order because they are serving a beautiful Kenya coffee or because the barista convinces me to try a batch brew instead of an espresso. Every time I enjoy the time I spend in a coffee shop talking with baristas.

That’s things that I will never have the chance to experience with a coffee drone. I currently think it’s more for lazy people or perhaps it should work while chilling out on a beach as Costa Coffee tested in Dubai’s beaches (still for lazy people I think).

As far as I’m concerned, the only way it should work it’s when it comes with aged or infirm people. Mine is not a final position, maybe there will be a time when I will be in love with this.

Other Projects

Anyway, Alphabet is not the only one. Many other company are trying to finalise a coffee drone such as Matternet in Switzerland or Coffee Copter in Amsterdam. But the one that seems is making such an effort is IBM.

The famous hardware company is the only one that has filed a patent (in 2015) to create a unique coffee drone. Thanks to cameras and sensors, the drone is able to scan the person that is waiting for the coffee by recognising his/her face and voice.

The company says it is even possible to order a coffee simply by a hand gesture. Coffee is then being delivered directly into the mug or by a sealed bag to prevent any spillage. And there’s something else we should now, and it’s a little disturbing:

The drone already knows if we are in need of caffeine by looking at data from a device like Fitbit, Apple watch or by other mobile devices in the area. In its file, the company says that it can monitor how many hours we sleep, when and which coffee we usually drink or if we really can drink coffee at that time by using “biometrics, blood pressure, pupil dilatation, facial expressions”.

Even if this sounds really amazing, there is no guarantee that it will come true as Amanda Carl, a spokeswoman for the company said: “IBM encourages our researchers to pursue their interests even though not all of their inventions become commercial products.

By publishing their inventions as patents, we give our researchers the recognition they deserve and make their work public, so it can inspire new innovations”.

Bottom Line about Coffee Drones

We just don’t know when, but sooner or later our need for caffeine is going to be delivered by drone. I will always prefer to live the experience of a coffee shop and be served by a (human) professional barista.

What is sure is that there will certainly be for or against positions for something that is expected to make a huge impact in our world. However, I cannot disagree with an invention that can have a good impact by reducing pollution and lowering costs of delivery.

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