IT&Software

Amazon files patent for flying warehouse

Amazon files patent for flying warehouse

And Amazon isn't the only logistics company to come up with seemingly outlandish ideas to reduce delivery times. Yes, it sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie.

Amazon has filed a patent for an "airborne fulfilment centre" (AFC) or flying airship warehouse. Drones would then fly around the airship, pick up the items needed for delivery, and deliver those items to the customer's home. In the distance, you see similar packages being dropped off around your neighborhood.

Amazon wants to use shuttles to take employees, stock, and drones up to the AFCs and back to the ground, which would mean the drones could save their power for deliveries.

The filing was unearthed CB Insight analyst Zoe Leavitt who described the structure as the "Death Star of ecommerce". The AFC would allow more drones to deliver more items to an increasing number of customers.

For instance, people might be able to spot Amazon's flying wonders near a sporting event in the future, handily supplying merchandise or food to fans below.

The company said the airborne fulfillment center could be "any type of airship", such as a "non-rigid" or "semi-rigid" or "rigid" airship.

Amazon patents show flying warehouses that send delivery drones to your door

The shuttles would also take workers to and from the AFC, which is a pretty insane concept in and of itself.

Amazon says the AFC might be supported by, or incorporated into, an airship or dirigible, and can remain airborne for extended periods.

Amazon's drones have already been tested while being launched from a traditional, ground-based delivery truck.

In a different post from CNBC, the patent for the AFC is not the first patent that includes drone delivery.

The drones would communicate with each other using a mesh network to give information regarding weather, wind speed, and route plans; they could even beam e-book content down to readers on the ground.

It's unclear just how far along Amazon is on its AFC plans, and the company didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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