We've already seen early plans from Amazon to create drones that can drop off packages: Now German company Festo is asking another important question \u2013 how can drones pick stuff up? The answer is a combination of several of their projects, called the FreeMotionHandling project, and it's one of the most sci-fi things we've seen in real life.\r\n\r\nThis drone is basically just a big inflatable sphere combined with a ring of camera sensors, about 54 inches in diameter. All the electronics are housed in the carbon fiber camera ring, including four steering drives that can propel the sphere in all kinds of directions. The battery on-board can last for around 40 minutes \u2013 not quite enough for the average delivery service, but not bad considering the goals here.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe gadget's\u00a0infrared camera sensors, which are constantly analyzing the space around it, are very impressive, but the griping mechanism may be even cooler. This is a cylindrical tool that the sphere inflates with helium (dong joke here) and slurps around objects like apples: Much like a bacteria or starfish, it uses a mix of friction and suction to hold the object \u2013 or objects, because the FreeMotionHandling project can pick up more than one thing as long as the weight stays just under a pound.\r\n\r\nApparently the drone's systems and sensors can analyze objects independently, understand their key features, and then recognize similar objects\u2026all impressive programming that would be necessary for the drone to conduct any real pickup or delivery services. It's a culmination of some very advanced tech projects, and it looks seriously cool.\r\n\r\nHowever, the FreeMotionHandling project is, at its heart, still a research product. It's not a true prototype of any product coming to shelves (wind alone would be its downfall), but it an example of the direction we can take personal drones. To be honest, we'd love to see a kid's version of this as an alternative to the typical remote-control helicopter \u2013 and a lot less likely to break apart when crash landing.