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by way of amazon

It’s no secret that Amazon is constructing a supply drone military of epic proportions. They need to have the ability to launch them from anyplace: lamp posts, cell towers… and even shifting trains.

Just because the calendar rolled over from July to August, Amazon was awarded a patent for “Ground-based mobile maintenance facilities for unmanned aerial vehicles.” While the title focuses on upkeep, the patent itself gives extra perception into Amazon’s drone-assisted future.

It’s all about intermodal transport — the place delivery containers are moved between, say, a cargo ship and a prepare. Amazon figures the containers shouldn’t simply large an enormous field that holds items awaiting supply to its clients. They must also convey alongside a drone that may drop these gadgets by our entrance doorways.

These cell drone stations might maintain scheduled deliveries for Amazon, too, primarily based on descriptions within the patent. For instance, if Amazon tends to see an enormous spike in orders for a particular kind of cat meals in West Seattle on the third Wednesday of each month, they’ll plunk a container on a truck, roll it out, and let its onboard drones robotically deal with drop-offs.

Hard-working drones want slightly TLC once in a while, after all. Amazon additionally believes that containers present a handy area for on-the-go repairs. Things like motors, props, battery packs, and sensors could have to be changed periodically. Amazon needs to tuck an automatic system tucked right into a delivery container to deal with these chores, like so:

Just just like the supply drones, these restore automobiles might be robotically routed to areas the place Amazon is aware of there’s demand. If a bunch of drones is due for its common tune-up (or if there was a rash of vandalism, hail injury, and many others.), Amazon might ship out the restore automobile to repair them up.

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