We now have some more details about how Amazon's delivery drones would work if put into action.
Amazon's patent has been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It says that the drones will track the location of the person they're delivering to by pulling in data from their smartphone. Creepy? A bit. But if it means it knows you've popped out to the shops, that will give it an edge over a regular human courier.
The drones will also talk to each other about the weather and traffic conditions. But not what happened on Strictly last night.
The US Patent and Trademark Office approved the idea when Amazon proposed it back in September 2014. Now the e-tail giant has to convince the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to approve widespread commercial use of drones. There are also plenty of technical obstacles to overcome – how will it discern between flats, for example?
You'll be able to specify where the drone should deliver – options include 'bring it to me', 'bring it to my home' or even 'bring it to my boat'. Which shows Amazon's target market.
The firm will have a fleet of drones of varying sizes, able to carry products of all shapes and weights. The drones will be equipped with flight sensors, radar, sonar, cameras and infrared sensors to ensure they can land safely. They would also monitor their path for animals and humans in a bid to avoid them.
The law has been clamping down on drones here in the UK lately. It's illegal to fly a drone within 50 metres of a building you don't own – including landmarks – and within 150 metres of any congested area. In other words, steer clear of London.
We'll have to see if Amazon's flying robot army of delivery bots ever becomes real. Our guess? Not any time soon.