Amazon first introduced its concept of drone delivery service a couple of years ago. The company has recently filed a new patent detailing its plans for utilising the vertical structures like church steeples, street lights, power poles, and cell phone towers as a docking station for the delivery drones.
The online retailing giant revealed in the filing:
“The docking stations may incorporate a number of features to enable UAVs to fly longer routes, to fly routes more accurately, and to provide shelter during adverse conditions.”
The patent hints at the various ideas that Amazon is looking into to realise its drone delivery project. The patent describes that the docking station will be used for:
- Extending the range of UAVs by installing recharging/refuelling stations
- Package handling facilities or use as a final destination/delivery hub
- Use as a navigational aid to guide the UAVs to the docking stations and to relay pathway information from the central control
The patent filing includes drawings showing the plans for docking stations for the delivery drones:
This is how the docking station atop a streetlight will look like.
All docking stations will be connected via a central command centre.
The above figure shows the hold-down system to park a UAV.
The company will refuel its delivery drones using a station shown in the image above.
The station could also turn into a shelter in case of unpredictable weather.
This is what a docking station atop a cell phone tower will look like.
The drone could also use docking station as delivery hubs by dropping the packages in the lockers.