File photo The Walmart logo is pictured at its store in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles Nov. 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian)
Tired of searching all the corners of the big box retail store for that item you want? Walmart can be a high-tech solution – the retail giant has a patent for use of drones in the shops.
The patent application describes “the transmission of an airborne drone to an item within a retail store, securing that part of the inventory of the drone in the air, and over the leadership of the airborne drone to the item of the inventory to a delivery area located within the retail store in the mall.”
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For the safety of customers as bumblebees buzzing around a busy shop, the patent explains that the flying robots’ restaurant will not include any open space.
Sensors and 3D navigation technology will be used to ensure that drones keep their designated space, according to the patent, which specifies that the restaurant can be configured to largely avoid the aisles between product display shelves.
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While it is not clear whether delivery drones will ever make in Walmart stores, the patent applications comes at a time when the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company is looking to increase the level of automation. Last year the retailer was even granted a patent for self-driving shopping carts.