Technology - - Dec 30,2016
Amazon has been awarded a patent for massive flying warehouses equipped with fleets of drones that deliver goods to key locations within minutes.
The Washington-based e-commerce giant explained its plans of an Airborne Fulfillment Center (AFC) such as an airship that would float at a height of about 45,000 feet. It would carry a large amount of goods and visit places where Amazon expects demand for certain goods to be considerably high.
Whenever a consumer places an order, a drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) would fly down and deliver the package. Amazon believes the combination of flying warehouse and drones would deliver goods considerably faster as compared to ground-based warehouses and that it would consume lesser power as the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.
Amazon said that they can place the setup near sporting events or festivals where they would sell food or souvenirs to a large number of spectators. The patent also forecasts a number of support vehicles that would be required to restock the drones.
Amazon had filed for the patent in 2014 and was actually awarded with the patent in April this year, but it wasn’t discovered until this week. Throughout the past few years, Amazon has been working on drone technology with its ‘Prime Air’ initiative to achieve the aim of delivering goods directly to its customers, eliminating the role of logistics companies.
Amazon successfully completed the trial run of its first drone delivery in the UK. The company has plans of carrying out more test runs in 2017.
A number of firms are working on drone technology but are struggling to get the desired results, as it is becoming relatively difficult to extend their short range. Batteries are another cause of concern for drone manufacturers. Recently, GoPro had recalled its Karma drones on issues pertaining to power failures.