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Amazon designs the Borg of delivery drones

Collective UAV
One concept for a collective UAV looks like the Borg Cube from “Star Trek.” (Amazon Illustration via USPTO)

Right now, Amazon’s delivery drones are designed to drop off packages weighing no more than 5 pounds. But what if you could link up lots of drones? Then your bigger packages could be assimilated.

That’s the idea behind a patent application from the Seattle-based online retail giant that focuses on Lego-like assemblies known as “collective UAVs,” or unmanned aerial vehicles.

“A collective UAV may be used to aerially transport virtually any size, weight, or quantity of items, travel longer distances, etc.,” says the application, filed in February 2015 but published just today.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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