Sunday, August 6, 2017

"Amazon Wants to Build a Network of Mobile Drone Maintenance and Delivery Platforms" (AMZN)

But of course.
(More after the jump)
From The Verge, August 6:

A new patent indicates that the ‘intermodal vehicles’ could be used to meet consumer demand
Amazon has long had ambitions for autonomous package delivery, but before drone delivery can go into wider use, there’s some obstacles to overcome. Recently, the company has filed for numerous patents, from a drone beehive placed in populated areas to dropping packages with parachutes to a massive airship. Business Insider spotted a new patent filing: one for a network of mobile workstations based on boats, tractor trailer trucks, trains, or other vehicles, which can be driven to areas of high demand. 

The idea presented in the patent filing kind of nuts: it would set up a network of roving, intermodal delivery systems that would act both as a maintenance hub and merchandise warehouse for Amazon’s drone fleet. The patent essentially describes a standard shipping container that’s ben outfitted with an automated door on the ceiling, and a “retrieval apparatus comprises a landing surface configured to be raised or lowered along a vertical axis and rotated about the vertical axis.” 

These containers could be loaded onto a locomotive, container ship, or tractor trailer truck, and would consist of a maintenance car equipped with extra batteries, a robotic arm, and a computer system that would allow the vehicles to communicate with a drone. If needed, they could move to a new location to pick up a drone. The maintenance car would scoop up the drone, replace the battery, and release it to carry out deliveries. The patent also describes methods for fixing drones that might get damaged. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the filing to Business Insider....MORE
Previously on Amazonas:
July 11
"Amazon Wants to Put Skyscraper Warehouses Drone Hives in Cities Around the World"
But what about the 3D printed asteroid miners?

From Futurism:
Amazon has recently filed a patent application that could give a glimpse into the company’s vision for the future of delivery. The application calls it a “multilevel fulfillment center,”  and the patent shows a tower pockmarked with drone sized openings which will likely make it easier for the online retail giant to deliver in urban areas. Amazon says there is a “growing need and desire to locate fulfillment centers within cities, such as in downtown districts and densely populated parts of the cities.”...
Image credit: Amazon/US Patent and Trademark Office

December 29, 2016
"Amazon patents show flying warehouses that send delivery drones to your door" (AMZN) 
From TechCrunch:

We’ve known about Amazon’s drone delivery ambitions since 2013.  But patent filings from Amazon, circulated today by CB Insights’ Zoe Leavitt, reveal more details about how the e-commerce titan could make drone deliveries work at scale, namely through “airborne fulfillment centers.” Yes, that’s a warehouse in a zeppelin.

The airborne fulfillment centers, or AFCs, would be stocked with a certain amount of inventory and positioned near a location where Amazon predicts demand for certain items will soon spike.
Drones, including temperature-controlled models ideally suited for food delivery, could be stocked at the AFCs and sent down to make a precise, safe scheduled or on-demand delivery.
An example cited in the filing was around a sporting event. If there’s a big championship game down below, Amazon AFC’s above could be loaded with snacks and souvenirs sports fans crave.

The AFCs could be flown close to a stadium to deliver audio or outdoor display advertising near the main event, as well, the filing suggested.... ...MORE
Blimps circling overhead blasting advertising at the captive audience.

So, putting it all together:
April 2017
Amazon Will Use A Combination Of Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Drones, Autonomous Trucks, Quantum Computers and Robots to Deliver Your Stuff (AMZN)
But what about the rockets? For the 30 minute delivery option?
This is a year old but an interesting reminder.

From Supply Chain Quarterly, Spring 2016:... 
I do like the steampunk-retro Montgolfier Bros/Henri Giffard stylings to the the Amazon airships: