Amazon registered a patent for giant drone beehives


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A worker bee.
Image: Amazon/REX/Shutterstock

Picture an Amazon Echo. Maybe you have one, or a friend does, or you’ve seen one in a commercial. They’re cylindrical and black, and small enough to be unobtrusive sitting atop a kitchen counter. Now picture them the size of a skyscraper, amid buildings of a similar height. Picture this giant Echo full of little doors through which package-carrying drones buzz in and out, the delivery people of the future.

Amazon has registered a patent to do this.

Maybe this Jeff Bezos dream will come true. Maybe it won’t. Amazon has, after all, also registered a patent for huge flying drone warehouses, like blimps that spew miniature versions of themselves out into the world below, a design built to deliver packages so quickly that customers will barely have ordered the thing before it shows up at their door.

Amazon drone hive.

Image: USPTO

Or maybe the hives will look more like strange wheels of cheese.

Or perhaps they’ll look like space pods.

Who knows which of these things will come true. Maybe neither, maybe both. But do know that Amazon sees drones as the way of the package-delivering future, and that they’re hellbent on delivering items at a rate any other delivery service hasn’t a prayer to keep up with. Doing this requires lots of drones and lots of packages. All those packages must be stored somewhere, and if drones are the future of delivery, those storage centers must cater to them.

So maybe, some day in a city near you or a city in which you now live, it’ll be normal for you to step outside or off the train and to look up at a tall, cylindrical building around which hundreds of seemingly very large flies flit about, stopping to reload before setting off with bundles of cat food or books or groceries to be delivered to yet another person who just clicked “place your order.”

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