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Amazon Files Patent for Drone Stations on Vehicles

Image: Amazon Files Patent for Drone Stations on Vehicles
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By    |   Monday, 07 Aug 2017 10:24 AM

Amazon is expanding its high-tech delivery methods, filing a patent for mobile maintenance stations on various vehicles, including boats, trains and trailer trucks, Business Insider reports.

Amazon recently filed for multiple patents related to drone delivery, such as a kind of "drone beehive" in urban areas, and for an airborne warehouse, according to The Verge.

In this latest filing, Amazon outlines a network of automated drone stations inside shipping containers, which can be placed on trains, container ships and trucks. They would contain a computer system that could connect with the drone, a robotic arm that could replace the battery or even fix a damaged drone.

"Intermodal vehicles may be loaded with items and an aerial vehicle, and directed to travel to areas where demand for the items is known or anticipated. The intermodal vehicles may be coupled to locomotives, container ships, road tractors or other vehicles, and equipped with systems for loading one or more items onto the aerial vehicle, and for launching or retrieving the aerial vehicle while the intermodal vehicles are in motion," the filing reads.

"The areas where the demand is known or anticipated may be identified on any basis, including, but not limited to past histories of purchases or deliveries to such areas, or events that are scheduled to occur in such areas. Additionally, intermodal vehicles may be loaded with replacement parts and/or inspection equipment, and configured to conduct repairs, servicing operations or inspections on aerial vehicles within the intermodal vehicles, while the intermodal vehicles are in motion."

UPS revealed a similar plan in February, showing a new method for deploying drones from a truck, which could deliver a package without human help, while the driver does their own route.

"The toughest thing, technically, is having the HorseFly drone re-mate with the electric truck," Steve Burns, CEO of Workplace which designed the HoreseFly drone used by UPS, told TechCrunch. "There's a small portal … we basically have to have a robotics system up on the top that grabs it, picks it up, and puts it in the hole."

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider.

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Amazon is expanding its high-tech delivery methods, filing a patent for mobile maintenance stations on various vehicles, including boats, trains and trailer trucks, Business Insider reports.
amazon, patent, drone, stations, vehicles
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2017-24-07
Monday, 07 Aug 2017 10:24 AM
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