Latest News

Aug 8, 2017 | Surveying and Mapping

Amazon Patents Mobile Drone Repair and Launch Workstations from Trains, Trailers, and Shipping Containers


Amazon’s commitment to delivery drones hasn’t diminshed. The silicon valley giant has recently filed a patent for ground-based mobile maintenance facilities for UAVs.The patent covers a broad swath of possible locations in which the mobile maintenance facilities can be attached to such as locomotives, container ships, road tractors.

The facilities will double as launch and repair stations for Amazon’s drone delivery fleet. ‘Intermodal vehicles may be loaded with items and an aerial vehicle, and directed to travel to areas where demand for the items is known or anticipated’, the patent filing said. The basic idea is drone deliveries from anywhere to anywhere.


Amazon’s design takes advantage of intermodal containers or shipping containers in layman’s terms. The containers will feature doors on the top plane that can open for drones to lift-off with packages in tow, and the containers themselves can couple with a host of transport vehicles on land or sea.

If the amount of drone patent filings for Amazon this year are any indication, the silicon valley giant plans to be a major player in the future of drone delivery systems. Its other patents have included beehive drone distribution centers and parachutes attached to shipping labels.