Amazon patent shows roving robots that could drop off items on sidewalks

Amazon is testing robots that can store packages and make multiple deliveries along their routes, according to a new patent filing.

According to the patent application published Tuesday, the tech giant's proposed storage compartment vehicles (SCV) could also pick up items for return.

The Seattle-based company, which already deploys robots in many of its fulfillment centers worldwide, is looking for ways to address the troublesome "last mile" of delivery with this method, which would have customers come outside on the sidewalk, tap a security code on their phones and open the correct door to get their packages.

Alternate designs for Amazon’s storage compartment vehicle are adapted for aerial (left) or water-based (right) transportation. (Amazon Illustration via USPTO)

Alternate designs for Amazon’s storage compartment vehicle are adapted for aerial (left) or water-based (right) transportation. (Amazon Illustration via USPTO) (Amazon Illustration via USPTO)

However, Amazon has often said its patent applications are meant to explore possibilities, but many inventions are not turned into products or services as described in patent applications.

In certain parts of Seattle, Amazon has already been testing Amazon Scout delivery robots.

According to GeekWire, the patent application points out that the SCVs could position themselves in predetermined areas and that they could be outfitted with cameras, microphones, GPS devices, biometric scanners and more -- to make sure no one messes with the robots and that deliveries arrive on time.

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There's also reportedly a water-based model that comes equipped with floats for marine delivery applications.

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