In June 2015, Amazon filed a bizarre patent for delivery drones which got approved almost two years later on 23 June 2017. The patent includes an Amazon hive, a nine-storey structure which will house hundreds of delivery drones, to be built in urban areas which have space constraints.
The e-commerce giant is yet to comment on when, or if, it plans to create drones and hives, but the patent suggests that it might be installed in downtown districts or urban areas since much place isn’t required to build the hives.
The drone patent, which was filed by six Amazon inventors and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, states that a multi-level fulfillment center will be designed to accommodate landing and takeoff of unmanned aerial vehicles in a densely populated area. It is different from the traditional fulfillment centers and might include multiple levels as permitted under zoning regulations for respective areas.
Most of Amazon’s fulfillment centers are located in rural areas and sprawl over acres of land, a concept which isn’t functional in an urban area. The patent states that there is a need and an increasing desire to create fulfillment centers in cities so products can be delivered faster to growing population in cities. According to the patent, it can fulfill thousands of orders in a city every day.
It isn’t the first time that Amazon has used wacky ways to deliver their products. In May 2017, Amazon got the patent for a new system which adds a parachute to the shipping label. This device could help drones drop the delivery quickly and easily.
It is still unclear if Amazon would be using both of these patents. However, Amazon was actively testing delivery by drones in the United Kingdom at the end of 2016. They also tried their first Prime Air demonstration in the US in March 2017.
Since no official announcement has been made about drones or parachute delivery, all we can do is wait to see Amazon drones flying over our heads.