Amazon has been flirting with the idea of doing deliveries via a fleet of drones for the past year or so. However, a recently discovered patent that was filed by Amazon two years ago reveals that drone delivery might be the first step in a much a grander plan, and said grander plan is hilariously absurd.
The patent in question was first spotted by Zoe Leavitt, an analyst at technology data and research firm CB Insights. According to the filed patents, Amazon is looking to launch what the company calls "airborne fulfillment centers" which are basically giant blimps that are converted to aerial warehouses. Once someone orders an item from Amazon, the airborne fulfillment center will deploy drones to deliver said item to the customer, before returning to the fulfillment center. Besides being a flying warehouse, the airborne fulfillment center will also be able to provide advertising as well.
Alongside the massive blimp, smaller airships will be deployed in order to bring personnel and supplies from the ground. The smaller airships will also be used to restock the warehouse as well.
While the thought of an aerial Amazon warehouse sounds like something straight out of a movie, it is highly unlikely that Amazon would start deploying such a system anytime soon. For now, Amazon will still have to struggle with getting the proper clearance needed to test out its drone delivery system in the United States. That said, Amazon's blimp warehouse patent has got to be the most ambitious thing that we've seen for a while..
Source: Ars Technica