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Amazon’s Next Feat: ‘Beehive’ Drone Delivery Hubs

Amazon’s deliveries could be taking off from drone ‘beehive’ centers before long.

Last week, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application by Amazon, which proposed beehive-like fulfillment centers for drone deliveries. The patent, which was originally filed in December 2015, explained that these multi-level fulfillment centers would accommodate the takeoff and landing of drones in densely populated areas, like cities.

Unlike conventional fulfillment centers, Amazon’s beehive-like structures would include multiple floors depending on zoning regulations in the area.

Patent drawings indicate that the beehive hubs would allow multiple drones to fly to and from the fulfillment center to handle deliveries. These fulfillment hubs could have one or more landing location, in addition to one or more deployment area to handle the drones, which could potentially deliver some of the center’s items to nearby consumers.

CNN Money reported that these centers may even have bottom levels to support traditional truck deliveries, a self-service area for consumers to pick up items and workers to assist with the drone deliveries, including attaching packages and supervising operations.

The idea may seem slightly farfetched for now, but Amazon is stopping at nothing in its takeover.

[Read more about what Amazon is doing to dominate: Just How Much Time and Money Are Amazon’s Endless Fulfillment Centers Saving?]

In April, the e-tailer also secured a patent for an on-demand apparel manufacturing system, which cuts down production time and quickly generates garments once consumer orders are placed. The system will include a coordinating computer device, a textile printer, a textile cutter, production assembly line and cameras to quality check images. Due to the system’s ability to digitally put together orders, Amazon could seamlessly manufacture clothing without having to rely on other supply chain factors, like equipment, factories and workers.