Warehouses. Flight. Delivery. Combined, these three things are leading the commercial giant, Amazon, to consider developing flying warehouses called “airborne fulfillment centres (AFC)”, to deliver products utilizing their latest technologies such as laser powered drones, The Guardian mentioned earlier this week. The US Patent and Trademark Office has released reports on a patent with information of a shuttle that might be used to replenish the AFC with supplies, UAV, fuel, and other forms of inventory. Many experts also predict that this facility could be used to transport humans/labour from one place to another. The patent tells of an airship flying approximately 45000 miles above sea level.
Amazon is stringent about informing the world on how this may not be a challenge for them since it will not require a lot of power. The airship will be airborne at all times, since it will only glide to higher and lower altitudes in the air and will deliver products unmanned. Amazon claims that such technology will have limitless uses as it could deliver products in minutes anywhere around the US; at music functions, football stadiums, and even home parties. For any threats linked to the weather or airborne accidents, professionals have developed a method titled a mesh network via which the aerial vehicles can communicate regarding matters of weather and routes. This technology would also provide Amazon with greater flexibility to manage supplies when there are shifts in demand or supply.
Amazon is still pushing forward in winning more patents. In July of 2016, they gained patents to use tall buildings at domes of churches as recharging stations for the drones. Amazon has recently deployed its first and only aerial vehicle earlier this month in UK and is insisting on making this technology widely available in the US and Middle East. It plans on buying shares in middle eastern e-commerce giant Souq.com. However, the customers will not get to utilize such technology anytime soon since Amazon will still have to get approval from aerial authorities which might take some time. The world eagerly awaits the availability of such technology. Sophomore Arjun Sharma said, “Delivery in minutes… I want that technology right away!”.