Self-driving delivery vehicles plus self-flying drones? Now there’s an Amazon patent for that BY ALAN BOYLE on December 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Combination delivery system

For a long time, Amazon has been looking into applications for self-driving vehicles — and testing fleets of self-flying drones for making package deliveries. So it only makes sense that the Seattle-based online retailing giant would meld those vehicles for a warehouse-to-doorstep delivery system virtually untouched by human hands.

In a patent published today, Amazon inventors Hilliard Bruce Siegel and Ethan Evans describe a system that has autonomous ground vehicles transport packages to a customer’s neighborhood — perhaps even the street in front of the customer’s door — and coordinate the doorstep delivery with a drone.

Both types of robo-carriers would be in contact wirelessly with a central computer network that would manage the operation. The ground vehicle could be directed to head over to a fulfillment center, pick up shipments and plot a course for deliveries. Drones could flit back and forth to drop off packages and charge up at the vehicle.

Various diagrams show how the drones could pick up packages from a vehicle in the street, then fly over to drop off deliveries on doorsteps, designated drop zones and upper-floor balconies. Some diagrams show big delivery truck as the base of operations, while other show a smaller delivery robot like the ones that are being tested north of Seattle.

The drones could be owned or operated by an entity that’s distinct from the ground-vehicle service — for example, by the managers of the apartment building that’s being serviced. You could have different companies put in charge of deliveries in different neighborhoods. The important thing is that everything’s coordinated through a central network.

Such a combination system would solve several challenges: For example, the battery-powered drones wouldn’t have to use as much juice as they would if they were flying directly from a fulfillment center to make a delivery. There’d be less noise, and less need to fly over other people’s property.

For ground vehicles, the system not only bridges the “last mile” of a delivery route — it addresses the last 100 feet. Siegel and Evans, who are veterans in the patent business, say that’s becoming increasingly important.

“Over time, an increasing frequency and volume of deliveries of items from e-commerce and mail-order companies has resulted in an increased need for faster and more efficient delivery methods,” they write.

There’s one more twist to the application: It cites a GeekWire story about Google’s patent for using drones to pick up shipments and fly them to a mobile dropbox.

The application was filed back in 2016, and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will develop an all-autonomous delivery system like the one described. But the description does provide an indication of what Amazon has been thinking about as it builds out its own end-to-end delivery system.

For what it’s worth, Amazon has been investing what’s thought to be hundreds of millions of dollars with transportation startups such as Rivian and Aurora. Amazon plans to buy 100,000 all-electric Rivian vans for its delivery fleet. And recentlypublished patent applications indicate that both Rivian and Aurora are putting a lot of effort into making their vehicles autonomous, even under challenging conditions.

The big question is, what took so long for someone to get the patent for this idea? We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, and will update this item with anything substantial we hear.

Love space and science? Sign up for our GeekWire Space & Science email newsletter for top headlines from Alan Boyle, GeekWire’s aerospace and science editor.

GeekWire aerospace and science editor Alan Boyle is an award-winning science writer and veteran space reporter. Formerly of NBCNews.com, he is the author of “The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference.” Follow him via CosmicLog.com, on Twitter @b0yle, and on Facebook and MeWe.

Hospitality Experts in Sacramento adds a West Sacramento Facility

The Sacramento Metro market is the HOTTEST hospitality market in California.

Chipman Relocations and Logistics/ Sacramento run by industry veteran Ed Melton (916-563-7472,  emelton@chipmanrelo.com) has taken his team to entirely different level.

  • Freight Management
  • Warehouse management – on demand
  • Model room installation
  • Room in a box experts
  • 24/7 Deliveries
  • Installation
  • Headboard Installation experts
  • Art Work installation
  • Fixture and lighting installation
  • Project management
  • Space planning
  • Carpet storage
  • Attic stock inventory management
  • White glove service / 24/7

 

20160915_164229

20150715_091238 (1)
Pallet Positions available in SAFE West Sacramento business district.

Corporate Relocation Services to move your office conveniently — Linkindia Logistics

Making a decision to move your office space or home gives you anxious moments because it is time for you to decide what must stay and what must go. You will also need to consider the services of packaging companies or relocation companies who specialize in relocation services. It requires time to research and speak to […]

via Corporate Relocation Services to move your office conveniently — Linkindia Logistics

TOP 5 WAYS MILLENNIALS ARE DRIVING OFFICE DESIGN TRENDS

If there’s one well-known distinction separating Millennials from previous generations, it’s that they don’t live to work – they work to live. Priorities have shifted, so at the end of the day, it might not be the paycheck that matters most but rather the culture and a better work-life balance that keeps them loyal to a company. As more Millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce, the offices of the past are evolving into a more relaxed, open-minded, and hands-on environment that better suits the personality of newer generations. They’re driving office design trends that are bringing the workplace fully into the 21st century.

1. THEY’RE KNOCKING DOWN THE WALLS

Millennials prefer a collaborative, social environment, so the days of cubicles are over… long over. In its place has arrived the open floor plan concept. No more walls. No more dividers. No more disconnect betw

een employees. Simply a group of desks grouped together. An open floor plan encourages communication, building strong team connections and fostering camaraderie between employees. And the best part about this from a business perspective? Frequent interactions and collaborations can lead to innovative ideas and developments that benefit the company in its entirety.

2. THEY’RE DECORATING WITH PIZAZZ

Beige walls. Beige carpet. Beige desks – a.k.a. boring, boring, and boring. Modern, comfortable, eclectic – those sound better, don’t they? Yes? Then let’s kick the drab shades to the curb and breathe life into the space where people spend more than eight hours a day. Influenced by Millennials’ desire for an appealing workspace, offices are getting a makeover from floor to ceiling. It’s time for businesses to decorate with pizazz whether they’re drawing influence from the company’s values or inspiration from employees’ personalities. When your office is a medley of vibrant and engaging hues, it increases employee productiveness, so a splash of color really can make all the difference.

3. THEY’RE REPLACING THE OLD TECH WITH THE NEW

Born into the new era of technology between 1977 and ’95, Millennials are the definition of “tech savvy,” so they’re expecting a technologically up-to-date office space. Gone are the clunky desktops and miles of wires commandeering desk space, and in its place are sleek laptops and tablets. These devices can be easily transported from one side of the office to the other (Can you do that with a PC? I think not.), and all the information an employee needs is always right at their fingertips. Using the latest technology also streamlines and automates what were once time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to be more efficient and productive!

4. THEY’RE CREATING A VARIETY OF SPACES

Variety is the spice of life, and Millennials agree – especially in the workplace. Creating a variety of work spaces inspires a more engaging environment. Consider a large conference space with modern tables and chairs for important meetings. A collaborative room with a standup table and monitors for internal discussions. A small, sunlit area with large windows and a cozy couch for an employee seeking peace and quiet. When presented with numerous rooms and areas, employees can find the space that helps them be the most productive for the task at hand.

5. THEY’RE MAKING WORK FUN

The last and certainly the most important office space trend influenced by Millennials is quite simple: make the workplace fun! Remember, Millennials place a lot of emphasis on a company’s culture – will they be expected to work around the clock, or does the company believe in a work/play balance? Whether you put a pool table in the lunch room, place a ping pong table in a spare room, or hang up a hammock in a quiet room, providing engaging activities around the office will help your employees rest and reset their busy brains. After their break is over, they’ll feel mentally refreshed and ready to tackle what the rest of the day has to offer. Who says you can’t live a little at work?