Tuesday July 19, 2016

Amazon Wants To Use Lampposts, Churches As Drone "Perches"

Is this brilliant, or totally crazy and impractical? Amazon basically wants to turn urban structures into drone ports, where they can, among other things, refuel and transfer packages. These "landing pads" would also double as cell towers that could provide internet.

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The latest patent describes docking stations which could be installed on cell towers, church steeples, office building, electric poles, and generally tall structures. It would allow a drone to land, avoid bad weather, recharge or refuel and drop off and pick up packages. Amazon outlines the idea of a "central control system" which could communicate with each docking station. The system would calculate the most direct route for a drone to follow, and be able to redirect it along a path with the most favorable conditions, for example, with the least wind. The ability to recharge is also very useful as the drones are unlikely to be able to travel very large distances.