So you're on a plane, yes? Unless you're one of the holy few who get to enjoy business class flying, you've stood in a waiting lounge until your seat rows are called, meandered through a checkpoint, found that someone has stuffed their entire lives into your overhead - so no foot room for you - and you're now waiting take-off. Got all that? Good.
Then your stomach growls. You knew you should've bought a sandwich about two hours ago, but you weren't hungry then. Maybe your self-flagellation instinct kicked in and you decided to 'save yourself' for whatever culinary delights the airline you're flying with may have in store for you. You're starving at this stage, so you don't care if they serve you an egg made out of rubber alongside a tomato that looks like it was shot with a twelve gauge while trying to escape - and they probably will. The only problem is, it's another 40 minutes until take-off (if you're lucky).
A German firm has recognised this dilemma - along with the problems of being woken up mid-snooze by an air-hostess to see if you want some duty free and having to wait behind a drinks cart blocking your passage to the loo while your bowels go into Armageddon. Sell GMBH has recently filed a patent for a meal delivery system on flights that may make your life-in-transit less of a living hell.
The patent is for a system of conveyer belts and compartments concealed under the cabin floor that would allow flight crews to serve food and drink without clogging up the aisles. Imagine a timed meal delivery system that combined the belts of Yo Sushi! outlet with a touchscreen interface, and you're starting to get the idea.
With the cabin crew free to perform other vital in-flight duties, a back-seat entertainment console could be used to direct the robot waiter to your seat with the dish of your choosing. Hey, we're all for it. As long as it doesn't reduce leg-room, but there's no word yet on whether the system will ever make its way to a commercial airline.