Amazon patents ‘aquatic fulfillment centers’

Inflatable underwater bags

An underwater warehousing system could use inflatable bags to retrieve packages. In this picture, divers with the Israeli Defense Forces’ Underwater Missions Unit use a lifting bag to transfer equipment. Photo by Israel Defense Forces via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Amazon has patented some crazy ideas, including flying fulfillment centers that drop packages from the air. But its patent for “aquatic fulfillment centers” could be the craziest one yet.

The concept calls for warehousing packages underwater in specialized tanks – or even in a designated area of, say, Seattle’s Lake Union. Packages could be dropped from the air, parachute down to the water, and then sink to a specific water level based on its density.

When it’s time to select a package for delivery, a coded series of acoustic tones could be beamed through the water, activating a device on the desired package to inflate a balloon from an attached cartridge of compressed air. The package would then float up to the surface for retrieval and shipping.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, 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.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.