John Robb describes a very interesting idea: we are close to being able to build a open-standards network of private drones that can lift reasonable cargos (e.g. 2kg for 20 miles) which we can use for p2p delivery of items.

Think documents for signature (yes, it still happens) in busy cities. Think 3D prototypes from a fab factory to corporate HQ. Think lending books, CDs, tools to friends (and quite possibly anyone with the right escrow system).

To change your thinking about drones away from the little quadcopters and the military ones housed in Saudi, take a look at this rolling one:

and this spherical one.

Robb’s summary is in DRONENET The next BIG thing and some more detailed thinking is in a series of articles on his excellent blog.