Economy

Amazon Patent Details Multistory Beehives for Drone Delivery Facilities

Amazon Patent Details Multistory Beehives for Drone Delivery Facilities

Another potential design for Amazon's army of delivery drones.

Amazon has filed a patent for drone delivery centres, perhaps in preparation for the expansion of the "Prime Air" drone delivery service which sends small packages in under 30 minutes.

What's more, given the tower block design of the beehive with a comparatively small footprint, Amazon says they're ideal for plonking in the middle of crowded urban neighbourhoods, so it's highly likely that an Amazon hive will pop up in your city in the not-too-distant future.

The company first filed for the patent in December of 2015, several months before it filed for a patent on an airborne blimp-like fulfillment center that would allow delivery drones to pick up packages, dock and refuel without coming back to land.

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Traditional fulfillment centers are often located outside of cities due to their large size. That can make deliveries to the facilities problematic for expedited deliveries into cities, where a growing number of people live. Now given that this is a patent we're not sure if it will ever see the light of day, but assuming drone delivery takes off, it actually makes sense for such a center to exist.

The towers could support traditional truck deliveries and include a self-service area where customers can pick up items, the patent states.

It's unclear if Amazon will make the drone centers a reality; patents often do not come to fruition in the marketplace.

As will most patent applications, we'll refrain from getting too excited just yet. The company's unmanned aircrafts delivered two lightweight orders - a bag of popcorn and a TV streaming stick (a USB-like device) - in Cambridge, England, in December 2016, according to The Guardian.


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