Amazon wants to use lamp posts as perches for its high-tech delivery drones.A patent awarded to the shopping giant this week shows how it wants to use tall structures as bases for drones to recharge.
The application was first filed in late 2014 and says: "The docking stations may incorporate a number of features to enable UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to fly longer routes, to fly routes more accurately, and to provide shelter during adverse conditions."
The docking stations would allow the drones to fly longer routes, and shelters could be built so they can hide during heavy rainstorms.
As well as lamp posts, Amazon suggests the use of other high buildings such as "church steeples, office buildings, parking decks, and radio towers".
"This can enable the (drones) to, for example, avoid bad weather, recharge and refuel, drop off packages, pick-up packages, communicate with a certain control system, reset navigation systems and await further instructions."
Amazon also floats the idea of using lamp posts and other tall objects to wirelessly guide drones as part of a "central control system", similar to how commercial aircraft operate.
The current prototype for Prime Air can carry about 2.5kg, and it weighs 25kg.
At the moment, it can only travel a few hundred metres, but that will substantially increase over time.
As a sweetener to those who may object to public property being used for commercial purposes, Amazon said that the stations could also provide free Wi-Fi.
Amazon announced its idea for delivery drones in 2013, and it wants the devices to replace postmen and cut delivery times to just 30 minutes.