Amazon Gets Patent for Robots That Drop Off Items on Delivery Routes is already working on robots that deliver packages, but a newly issued patent includes a far more ambitious scheme that covers storage compartment vehicles, which can roam the footways to make multiple deliveries along their routes.

As detailed in the Patent Application published recently, Amazon’s proposed SCVs could pick up the items for not just deliveries but return as well. If the plan gets fully implemented, it could address the final 50 feet or last mile challenge for delivery systems by having customers arrive at the footways, tap the needed security code on their smartphones, and open up the precise doors to collect the items they have ordered. Delivery agents could load the SCVs with items and set them loose from the loading area to make the required dropoffs. The robots could locate themselves at deliberate locations for pickups or move to the areas where the customers live. No matter whether the robots go to the customers or vice-versa, doors would get opened and closed using a unique security code registers with the cloud-based control system of SCVs. Besides, each storage compartment would cover a protective air bladder that could be inflated to cushion the package inside. Assets like cameras, microphones, biometric scanners, GPS devices, and other gizmos could also be installed on the robots to monitor their surroundings, provide navigational data, etc. Installation of these assets would also be beneficial in ensuring that the robots don’t get messed with anybody and deliveries get to the right customers.

Amazon said that its patent applications explore the comprehensive possibilities of new inventions, but those inventions don’t always get turned into real-life products and services as detailed in the applications. Furthermore, the inventions never see the light of day in some cases. Hence, there’s no guarantee that we would see the mentioned SCVs roaming the street anytime soon.

That being said, the storage compartment vehicle covered in the scheme is not all that much of a stretch beyond Amazon Scout delivery robots, which are being tested in the north of Seattle in Snohomish County and other climes also.

Drawings provided in the patent application showed that the proposed device is reminiscent of the Dalek cyborgs from the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series, but bristles with boxes instead of bristling with weapons.

Much about the tanklike tracks that make the SCV move along a wide range of slopes and rough terrain had already been revealed in the patent application filed two and a half years ago by Seattle-area inventors, including Wicksell Metellus, Kristopher William Bell, Julius Chen, Wesley Scott Lanka, and Ryan Scott Russell.

There’re even models outfitted with propellers for aerial deliveries, or floats for marine delivery applications.

Amazon Robotics is increasing by leaps and strides, but filling the footways, waterways, and flightpaths with robots on delivery routes would present a whole new level of automation. Let’s hope for the best! For more visit:

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