Amazon isn’t the only one trying to figure out how best to deploy a fleet of drones that will deliver goods. Walmart has applied for a patent on “gas-filled carrier aircrafts” that would act as airborne bases, helping courier drones fly to homes they couldn’t reach if they flew from a single fixed location.
Amazon filed for a similar patent in 2016, but Walmart goes into greater detail. These blimps would fly at altitudes up to 1,000 feet and talk to a remote scheduling system that indicates when drones should fetch packages from inside the blimp and head to their destinations. Walmart blimps in the sky does seem a little odd, but who knows if it will ever happen.
Amazon and Walmart have been battling it out as they try to dominate internet-based shopping, so they counter each other’s moves all the time. If Amazon fulfills its Prime Air ambitions and delivers many of its orders using drones, Walmart might deploy blimps to keep up. I guess we can expect the skies to be crowded with retail delivery vehicles in the near future. Heck, maybe Amazon and Walmart blimps will fight for dominance in our skies. The future seems…weird.