back to article Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse

In an image straight out of a dystopian consumerist vision of the future, Amazon has filed a patent for a huge flying warehouses equipped with fleets of drones for airborne drops. The patent describes the airborne fulfillment center (AFC) as an airship that could remain at a high altitude, at around 45,000 feet, with a fleet …

  1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    This is basically getting first-strike capability, isn't it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Definitely not the flying base Captain Fury was looking forward to.

      1. lawndart

        Nor Colonel White, for that matter.

        1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
        2. Chozo

          It does have possibilities for international rescue operations.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "It does have possibilities for international rescue operations"

            Nah, there's no profit in that (yes I know technically there is and charity is sometimes a front for business which is why I donate to causes where I can see the actual benefit)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "It does have possibilities for international rescue operations"

            Ah, but could it be made Hood-proof ?

            1. macjules Silver badge

              It works in conjunction with the new Amazon floating warehouses, which are certainly NOT converted oil tankers intended to capture and house ballistic nuclear missile submarines. No, the new flying platform is intended to simply launch Amazon's new range of drones under the leadership of the new Amazon CEO Harold 'Bezos' Saxon.

          3. P. Lee Silver badge
            Mushroom

            > It does have possibilities for international rescue operations.

            Who would have to pay a licensing fee to use the "novel idea."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: > It does have possibilities for international rescue operations.

              There may be strings attached

            2. oldcoder

              Re: > It does have possibilities for international rescue operations.

              Unless it was run by a secret Amazon project...

            3. P. Lee Silver badge
              Linux

              Re: > It does have possibilities for international rescue operations.

              I take it back, "Storks" got there first.

              Patent denied - prior art and therefore not novel.

        3. Alan J. Wylie

          If they have a 3D printer on board, they will be possessing the ability to recreate an exact likeness of an object ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            If they have a 3D printer on board, they will be possessing the ability to recreate an exact likeness of an object ...

            It would have to be able to handle the entire rainbow of colours.

            1. Muckminded

              The drones should be made to loiter and collect trash cubes made by the Wall-E ground bots while they're at it.

            2. W4YBO

              "If they have a 3D printer on board..."

              "It would have to be able to handle the entire rainbow of colours."

              I'm playing around with a mixing hotend. Uses cyan, magenta, and yellow filaments to make process color plastic. After I finish my experimentation (Bwahahahah!), I may try turning a four color mix head from brass, since black rarely looks good from CMY.

              If you're building your own printer, take a look at the Diamond Hotend - http://reprap.org/wiki/Diamond_Hotend

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Nothing new here...

      Take that new remake of the airship.

      Now add drones to drop and deliver.

      I forget when there was an invention to allow bi-planes take off from airships, or if they could also be retrieved... so that's not new.

      This shouldn't get a patent because its so simple.

      In terms of implementation... never will happen.

      FAA will not allow airships to fly low enough or drones high enough to meet.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Nothing new here...

        Yup - the US had a couple of aircraft launching/retrieving airships at least (Macon?) I think the requirement for a laundry might have been a weight problem.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Nothing new here...

        This shouldn't get a patent because its so simple.

        It shouldn't get a patent because it is obvious this is an idea and not a physical object.

        Applications like this show just how broken the patent system is. Whilst it is no longer necessary to supply an implementation of the patent on application, it is still a requirement to be able to demonstrate a working example at time of application...

        1. SVV Silver badge

          Re: Nothing new here...

          It should have been rejected immediately as it so obviously breaks the laws of physics.

          "they can navigate horizontally toward a user specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent," said the patent."

          Really? It can fly horizontally using NO power? What if it's windy? What if air itself has the property of not being frictionless (like it does). OK so they used the word "navigate" rather than "fly" so it's ambiguous (which should also be an instant rejection) but even taking account of the exceptions described it would still require power for other things.

          Personhally I think this was filed just to generate some news stories and get some very cheap publicity in the media (and that has obviously worked then....). The idea is obviously stupid for lots of reasons. But am I too late to file a patent for gaining free publicity by filing a ridiculous patent that may sound vaguely plausible to some of the more technically and scientifically challenged people out there?

          1. Will 28

            Re: Nothing new here...

            "Really? It can fly horizontally using NO power?"

            They said using "little to no power", not "No power". That is entirely feasible given the height the drone would be descending, they are clearly stating that the horizontal component of the journey would not significantly contribute to the power consumption, all the energy from that would be contributed by the very thing you were suggesting they'd forgotten, the air resistance generated by the descent (i.e. they'd effectively glide horizontally).

            Unfortunately you focused on one of the things that is pretty solid and achievable. What I find more curious is how, once the drone has descended 45K feet and delievered its package, does it get back up there? A quick google suggests that the most people have managed to fly a drone to is about 11K feet, and it then needs some way of docking. Alternatively they might be intending to then fly the drones off to some collection point to then be re-installed when the plane lands, but at that point you have to wonder if that's a cost effective solution.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Nothing new here...

              That is entirely feasible given the height the drone would be descending, they are clearly stating that the horizontal component of the journey would not significantly contribute to the power consumption

              You're overlooking the obvious flaw: the descent would need to be controlled and hence would require power - given we are talking about controlling the descent of several kilo's the power needs are potentially significant. But then I suggest, designing and building a 'drone' that is capable of carrying a payload of a couple of kilo's and a controlled descent from 45,000ft will in itself involve independently several patentable inventions - just as the helicopter, sewing machine and mobile phones aren't the results of a single patentable invention.

              So this is really Amazon patenting a 'method' and demonstrating that a (potentially) patentable

              'method' doesn't have to have any basis in reality.

              1. Vic

                Re: Nothing new here...

                You're overlooking the obvious flaw: the descent would need to be controlled and hence would require power

                Err - you know that gliders are unpowered, right?

                Vic.

                1. Spamfast Bronze badge

                  Re: Nothing new here...

                  Err - you know that gliders are unpowered, right?

                  Err ... no they are not. A glider (aka sailplane) has a human being controlling the systems. Human beings like any other control system require energy to function.

                2. Patched Out

                  Re: Nothing new here...

                  Gliders are not completely un-powered. They have human powered control surface actuators. Take the human out of them and you need some sort of powered actuators to do the function.

              2. Will 28

                Re: Nothing new here...

                Roland6,

                The power needs would indeed be significant for calculations, but my point (and I think theirs) was that the horizontal component of the travel would not add to these costs. If you're calculating a way down, you're making these decisions. Whether that's a direct drop, or a "glide" is irrelevant to the calculation costs. The glide itself is unpowered.

                1. Vic

                  Re: Nothing new here...

                  The power needs would indeed be significant for calculations

                  They really wouldn't.

                  Vic.

                  1. Adam 1 Silver badge

                    Re: Nothing new here...

                    > You're overlooking the obvious flaw: the descent would need to be controlled and hence would require power

                    At 45000 feet this object will contain a lot of potential energy and very little kinetic energy. As it drops, most of that potential energy gets converted into kinetic. Even commercial jets use a ram air turbine for emergency instrumentation power in the event of fuel exhaustion or other engine failures. Flight calculations are relatively modest unless you start trying to get into weather modeling or something. We are talking iPhone battery levels of power.

                    Actually, come to think of it, maybe if they use a note 7 battery, they weeks then have a good rocket to launch the drone back to the mothership.

          2. oldcoder

            Re: Nothing new here...

            Happens all the time during parasailing.... Totally unpowered flight. Also happens during skydiving.

      3. Stuart Castle

        Re: Nothing new here...

        "FAA will not allow airships to fly low enough or drones high enough to meet."

        Congestion will also be a problem around airports. A stray drone that malfunctions and flies into the path of an airliner that is landing or taking off could have some, shall we say, interesting results.

        1. Vic

          Re: Nothing new here...

          A stray drone that malfunctions and flies into the path of an airliner that is landing or taking off could have some, shall we say, interesting results.

          It doesn't even need to do that. A stray drone that appears to be heading towards controlled airspace without clearance is enough to trigger the re-routing of many aircraft - with each diversion tending to cause additional diversions in order to maintain separation. It's a mess.

          I went to a GasCo safety evening a few weeks back where they showed a NATS video[1] of a light aircraft flying first through Stansted's airspace and then through Heathrow's. Many flights were diverted, which was quite impressive, but I couldn't help but think "bullshit; this would never really happen"; I mean, the aircraft even lined up on the Heathrow runway. And then, at the end, they told us that all the positional data was from real radar traces...

          Vic.

          [1] Can't find it on the web at the mo - I'll post a link if/when I do.

    3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Coat

      Mail bombing?

      Mines the bomb jacket with the plane spotters guide in the pocket...

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      "This is basically getting first-strike capability, isn't it?"

      You think humans will be required? I would have thought this was more about getting a no-strike capability...

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Will it deliver electric sheep and mood organs to the urban conapts?

    "A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies! ... A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure℠!! Buy a one-way ticket on an Amazon Blue Origin® Mayflower™ vessel today!"

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Will it deliver electric sheep and mood organs to the urban conapts?

      "Buy a one-way ticket on an Amazon Blue Origin® Mayflower™ vessel today!"

      ...and buy NOW! The price will increase in line with the nearness of the expected date of the arrival of the planet eating STAAAAAR GOAAAAAAAAT!!!!

  3. Len Goddard

    Reloading

    So, how do the drones get back to the mothership? They're not likely to be able to do a 45k vertical assent. Does the mothership have to land to get another droneload or do they stuff all the used drones into a big bucket and send it up under a balloon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reloading

      Tractor beams.

      1. Challo

        Re: Reloading

        Two swallows will carry them back in pairs with string held under the dorsal guiding feathers!

        1. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: Reloading

          African or European? Or does it depend on the weight of your order?

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Reloading

            Hmm, just wondering about the mass of the drone with payload, and its mass after making its delivery. Its range will be greater after the delivery, but by how much I haven't the foggiest. It might be that for some items - an SD card, for example - the weight difference will be negligible.

          2. Spamfast Bronze badge
            Happy

            Re: Reloading

            African or European?

            Are you suggesting that they're planning to deliver migratory coconuts?

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Reloading

      I suspect that that are planning to use paper airplanes, perhaps with "smart ink" for guidance?

    3. Vittal Aithal
      Coat

      Re: Reloading

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taylor-Tools-TAY-62030-30-inch-Bungee/dp/B00PSD2G1U/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1483027712&sr=1-3&keywords=bungee+cords

      Just very, very, *very* long ones!

    4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Reloading

      I did wonder about that. If the drones can only be used once due to inability to reach 45000 ft, where do they land? Do they park a container nearby for them to home in on,before sending the full container aloft to the mother ship?

      And what about weight? Presumably drones won't be used to deliver a new 55" TV to a fan at a football match, so presumably it'll be fairly small items. In which case the majority of the payload of the mothership at take-off will be one-shot drones.

      And how is this a better way to get T-shirts to football fans than having a stand outside the ground?

      Or are they assuming a very, very high attrition rate for the drones from local shotgun owners?

      Whatever, it's really an expensive solution in search of a non-existent problem. I reckon Amazon are just winding people up.

      1. KH

        Re: Reloading

        Not all solutions are fixing problems. Sometimes it's just marginal (or larger) improvements on the way things are done. Did you read that part about getting things within minutes of ordering them? Hmmm, let's say I'm a wedding photographer and my camera just died... tap tap tap... new one ordered.... be here in 4 minutes. I like the sound of that.

        1. 9Rune5
          Coat

          Re: Reloading

          "Hmmm, let's say I'm a wedding photographer and my camera just died... tap tap tap... new one ordered.... be here in 4 minutes"

          Could explain what happened to one or two weddings in Afghanistan...

        2. photobod

          Re: Reloading

          If you're any type of professional, you don't go out on a job without backup for any mission critical equipment.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      Same way the cargo would

      Wait for it to return to the ground.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reloading

      The BBC has a picture from the patent application with their version of this story. This shows that after the drone makes its delivery, it flies off to a ground location. From there a smaller airship takes it back to the mothership, along with fresh stock.

      http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/295A/production/_93168501_965a49fd-c578-459f-aa7c-6434488e9963.jpg

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Reloading

        it flies off to a ground location. From there a smaller airship takes it back to the mothership, along with fresh stock."

        I'm still trying to get my head around exactly what it is Amazon want to patent. There's nothing in the diagram that is patentable or isn't already subject to patents. Apart from anything else, cost issues aside, it's blindingly obvious even to me as a possibility, never mind "an expert in the field"

  4. ma1010 Silver badge
    Coat

    Time to prepare...

    If these "Death Stars" are coming to pollute our skies, it's time to prepare the X-wing fighters and practice using the Force.

    Mine's the one with the light sabre in the pocket.

  5. Rogue Jedi

    I would like to know more about this

    how much could this flying warehouse hope to hold?

    how long would it stay in the air?

    from the patent notes it looks like restocking (including returning the drones) would be handled by another airship but there is no explanation of how much it would carry, how long it would stay airbourne or any other relevant limits,

    e.g. the article mentions people ordering things at a sporting event, would the UAV somehow locate the person in the stadium and drop the item directly to the person, would hundreds of drones descending to drop off snacks or souvenirs not be considered a problem by the other spectators?

  6. James 51 Silver badge
    FAIL

    how is such a pie in the sky concept patentable? There lots of examples of similar ideas in books, comics, tv shows and movies. How long before some tries to patent the terminator?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But how many had the capabilities to brainwash by "advertising for the temporal event"?

      Remember when they wanted to project advertisements on the moon? Mankind doesn't deserve to have a future.

    2. chas49

      pie in the sky

      @James51 that's the best reason - pie delivery drones!

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    This is not going to work

    Think of all the places where this could go wrong - "Dear Amazon, I'm here at the presidential inauguration, please ship two dozen Rebellious Ryan 9 Inch Dildos With Suction Cup and 20 bags of Hoffman Dehydrated Super Manure to the podium."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is not going to work

      Think of all the places where this could go wrong - "Dear Amazon, I'm here at the presidential inauguration, please ship two dozen Rebellious Ryan 9 Inch Dildos With Suction Cup and 20 bags of Hoffman Dehydrated Super Manure to the podium."

      What's wrong with that? Unless it's not Jan 20th, obviously ....

  8. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    1 April?

    Or was, at least, the patent filed at 1 April 2014?

  9. Alien Doctor 1.1

    if one of these...

    bastards got in my way at the rugby while delivering to some lazy wanker or sliced someones head off in front of me I would be slightly miffed and demand a full ticket refund.

    WTF is happening to the people on this planet, have we suddenly all become stupid overnight?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: if one of these...

      "have we suddenly all become stupid overnight?"

      No, it's just that you've suddenly noticed it.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: if one of these...

      Well, the internet is the open version of the closed ward.

      On a related topic: if we are typical for a technical civilisation, the Fermi paradox isn't one.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: if one of these...

        Just came across another 'solution' for the Fermi paradox on Boing Boing:

        Terry Bisson - They're Made Out Of Meat

    3. Trey Pattillo

      Re: if one of these...

      WALL-E.....

      riding our over-weight useless bodies around in an anti-gravity lounge chair, sipping on Brawndo while talking to a non-existant personal assistant.

      Perfect

      Credits: Disney [wall-e], 20th Cent. Fox Films [Idiocracy ], Amazon [echo]

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: if one of these...

      WTF is happening to the people on this planet, have we suddenly all become stupid overnight?

      Yes, plus there's greed and those cheerful, colorfully dressed marketing types who are like used car salesman but without the class.

    5. Vic

      Re: if one of these...

      at the rugby while delivering

      Most aircraft are explicitly prohibited from such events - UK Air Law requires at least 1000ft distance to large groups of people, and the US seems to have the same rule (as you'd expect - aviation is well-standardised). So delivering to the rugby would require either specific permission for each flight (which will take months, not minutes), or a change in Aviation Law[1] in every country in which they want to operate.

      This just isn't going to happen.

      Vic.

      [1] With all the corresponding fallout from having legislation now different to everyone else...

  10. MiguelC Silver badge

    How can this be patented?

    I'm going to patent my idea of trucks filled with items that can travel across designated paths (I'll call them 'roads'), each one of them carrying a 'human' witch will, upon arriving at the delivery address, hop out and deliver the ordered item.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How can this be patented?

      I'm going to patent my idea of trucks filled with items that can travel across designated paths (I'll call them 'roads'), each one of them carrying a 'human' witch will, upon arriving at the delivery address, hop out and deliver the ordered item.

      Yes, now "[long-established X] but with drones" is patentable just like ""[long-established X] but on a computer" or ""[long-established X] but on the Internet" is.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: MiguelC Re: How can this be patented?

      Ha! That's nothing, I just submitted a patent application for Efficient Oxygen Inhalation Through an Autonomic Rhythmic Contractions of the Ribcage's Intercostal Muscles and Diagphram. Those fools at Amazon can literally cough up now or quit breathing! On second thoughts, a licensing clause to exclude patent lawyers would be a great benefit to humanity.

    3. Mr Dogshit

      Re: How can this be patented?

      A human witch? Eh?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How can this be patented?

      That's the MiguelC Difference! Witches delivering the goods! Why not just cut out the truck and have them fly them in on their brooms? Single wand-wave ordering, Muggle prices, magical delivery. I'm in for Witches Prime.

      1. MD Rackham

        Re: How can this be patented?

        Kiki approves of this idea.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How can this be patented?

          If they look like Hermione Granger, I'm all for it.

    5. abueloeddie

      Re: How can this be patented?

      Nah! It'll never catch on ( and your 'human witch' will travel by broomstick with little or no carrying capacity!) :-))

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    40,000ft?

    Over UK Airspace?

    I bet the CAA have never had such a good laugh. IT will make their New Year.

    This is a non flyer if I ever saw one.

    1. Vic

      Re: 40,000ft?

      I bet the CAA have never had such a good laugh

      I'll bet they're not laughing. Each and every flight will require full ATC control until - at the very least - it is below FL195. They won't get many drones out before ATC refuse clearance to launch any more...

      Vic.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's no space station

    That's a warehouse.

    It's flying too high to be a warehouse.

    Turn the plane around.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The possibility of an accident doesn't bear thinking about. Whole urban areas covered in tat.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Not covered in tat

      They'll just track what landed where and after billinfg you for it, you will get advertising emails that start with the words

      "Based upon your recent delivery history, we thought you would like...."

      To be honest, I hope this gets shot down before it ever takes off.

      We don't need any more Amazon, as the banners at Kew Gardens Station say.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Not covered in tat

        "To be honest, I hope this gets shot down before it ever takes off."

        Bernard Woolley would like a word with you.

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      However....

      Might be time to see if eBay's got an old AKAK gun for sale... Bring it down over the north east coast of the UK. We've got a history for that sort of thing.

      (For reference lookup up the history of Robin Hood's Bay near Whitby.)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Whole urban areas covered in tat."

      We already have those, they're called "January Sales"?

  14. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Traffic News 2016 style: A lorry has shed its load on the M25

    Traffic News 2020 style: A London Cloud Warehouse containing cuddly toys has shed its load

    Weather Forecast 2020 style: Due to a cloudburst in the London area it will be raining cats and dogs

  15. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Meh

    Hmm, sounds costly and iffy

    It will probably require more than one airship so that restocking can occur by descending/ascending an airship and may be a lot more energy/time expensive than land storage/transport, especially given it would require a warehouse with an airship landing/hanger area near it.

    I am still dubious about drone use for deliveries because I don't see the short flight time of purely battery powered drone as practical; they'd need a longer lasting, energy dense, power source like Petrol, possibly for hybrid electrically powered propellers.

    It maybe more sensible to move a land vehicle, say a van or a lorry, nearer to a cluster of delivery locations, then launch several drones from the top surface with homing back to the possibly moving vehicle, given that could save a lot of flight energy and still save significant time.

    Oh course the really tricky part is how fast and reliable hand over of goods is expected to work, given Amazon already have unreliable delivery estimates, as reported by Market Oracle and experienced personally!

  16. Jimboom

    Sky Pirates?

    If this ever became a reality then how long before you would have bandits taking to the skies to hunt down and rob/destroy these motherships?

    Could make quite a good haul if you hit the one in the rich neighborhoods where they are stocked with lots of nice high end goods.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Jimboom Re: Sky Pirates?

      "......Could make quite a good haul if you hit the one in the rich neighborhoods where they are stocked with lots of nice high end goods." Just remotely hack the controls for one hovering over Hollywood and have it land in somewhere lawless/extradition-free like Venezuala, Ecuador or Oakland.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sky Pirates?

      If this ever became a reality then how long before you would have bandits taking to the skies to hunt down and rob/destroy these motherships?

      It's my understanding that they will be equipped with runways and spitfires (or was that flying sharks with lasers?) for that very reason

    3. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: Sky Pirates?

      All I got in my head from this was..

      It is I, the spectaculous Don Karnage! My bloodthirsty horde is on an intercept course with you. We will be shooting you and looting you in precisely... Ten minutes. Felicitations!

  17. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Wonder if I can order a surface-2-Air from Russian Amazon for next day delivery?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      No, but I hear you can get them from Syrian Hot Stocks soonish.

      (Where is that Alfred E. Neuman icon??? We really need it.)

  18. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So...

    My long-awaited flying car turns out to be flying car(dboard).

    Sigh.

  19. thx1138v2

    What about that jet stream thingy, huh? Winds at 250MPH won't have any effect on a descending drone? Maybe they'll email back to you the coordinates where the drone actually landed and you can go pick it up, huh?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Descending drones

      and the jetsream don't mix.

      Perhaps Amazon are trying to out do El Reg in the Paper Airplane Altitude race?

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      The Jetstream begins at around 70,000 ft so at 45,000 the mother drone won't be affected, you can get hurricane force winds at 45,000 though. I once flew all the way back to London from California with 80MPH tail winds most of the way and we landed more than half an hour early.

      If they do have an airship on station eventually I hope it's kitted out steampunk style.

  20. Daedalus Silver badge

    Lies and statistics

    We know that airships, besides their obvious limitations, can't lift much more than a few lorry loads. Payload on the Hindenburg, one of the biggest ever, was about 40 tonnes. It's a lot of Smarties, but not many cases of wine. You have to wonder if being able to distribute over an area of, say, 100 sq. km. could be done a lot more cheaply with some strategically placed container lorries.

    On the other hand, there's the image of Les Nessman of the TV show "WKRP in Cincinnati" dropping live turkeys from a helicopter as a Thanksgiving promotion. Now that's a distribution system that doesn't even need drones!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lies and statistics

      Great WKRP reference ... however it wasn't Les Nessman dropping the Turkeys - he was doing the live commentary on the ground.describing the dots appearing in the sky descending to the earth and how any moment parachutes must open and then how turkeys were thudding into the ground all around him and ending up with (referencing the Hindenburg newsreel) "oh the humanity the humanity" - it was Mr Carlson dropping the turkeys because, he explained afterwards, "no-one told me turkeys can't fly". Clearly a great program as it must be 35 years since I saw the episode but that section remains in my memory!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lies and statistics

      But the turkey drop thing is real:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellville,_Arkansas

      look under "turkey trot"

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Lies and statistics

        "But the turkey drop thing is real:"

        Oh, the humanturkyity

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Lies and statistics

      About the same time as the Hindenberg, the US navy was experimenting with airships (google "Akron class") that carried 60 crew, 8 machine guns, plus five aircraft weighing about a tonne each. And, presumably, it must've also carried fuel, arms and ammo for the aircraft. It's not huge, but it's considerably bigger than any truck I've ever seen.

      And there's a possibility that technology may have advanced in the 80-odd years since then, and Amazon's version could be considerably larger still.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Lies and statistics @veti

        "And there's a possibility that technology may have advanced in the 80-odd years since then, and Amazon's version could be considerably larger still."

        Technology has advanced a great deal, but helium or hydrogen will still give the same amount of lift as it did 100 years ago.

      2. Spamfast Bronze badge

        Re: Lies and statistics

        About the same time as the Hindenberg, the US navy was experimenting with airships (google "Akron class") that carried 60 crew, 8 machine guns, plus five aircraft weighing about a tonne each. And, presumably, it must've also carried fuel, arms and ammo for the aircraft. It's not huge, but it's considerably bigger than any truck I've ever seen.

        Erm ... so five tonnes of aircraft, six tonnes of Americans, say a tonne of guns and ten tonnes of supplies? That's twenty-two tonnes. The smallest standard shipping container of the type that can be loaded onto an articulated lorry (truck) can carry over twenty-eight tonnes. (See https://www.hapag-lloyd.com/downloads/press_and_media/publications/Brochure_Container_Specification_en.pdf.)

        So your example airship can carry at most one trucks-worth of drones & goods. How many trucks already go to any large sporting event anyway to provide all the foam fingers and hotdogs? One more truck parked outside with a roof platform for drone take-off & landing isn't going to add to the congestion much is it?

        And unless you are going to use hydrogen for lift (not out of the question *) the airship leaks irreplaceable helium into the atmosphere from where it escapes to space.

        As others have pointed out - this is a terribly inefficient delivery platform. At best, it would be an advertising gimmick.

        * Contrary to popular belief, hydrogen is not really that dangerous as lifting fluid. Recent evidence suggests for example that the Hindenburg's outer cover caught fire having been inadequately fire- and spark/lightning-proofed. When the hydrogen did catch it moved upwards as it burned. The casualties died from falling and burning wreckage, not hydrogen. Modern materials could mitigate the risks to an acceptable level. And we're not likely to run out of hydrogen any time soon whereas we have a finite - and rapidly diminishing - supply of helium unless and until we can harvest it from elsewhere in the solar system.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Lies and statistics

      "Les Nessman of the TV show "WKRP in Cincinnati" dropping live turkeys from a helicopter as a Thanksgiving promotion."

      Big thumbs up for that. Once of the funniest moments ever on TV!

      1. dbayly

        Re; Turkeydrop on WKRP

        It's on youtube

        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=youtube+WKRP+in+Cincinnati&ia=videos&iax=1&iai=8Zuj3dwZl64

        the actual drop starts at about 19 mins.

  21. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    Here's a fun idea.

    Phish a large group of induhviduals before said induhviduals go to a stadium.

    Order a shedload of goods via said induhvidual's phished bank details, and have it delivered to the stadium (eg lots and lots of hot dogs with extra ketchup and mustard)

    Sooner or later something like this will happen, trolling by drone.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mopeds?

    I'm all for a fantastic future. I'd personally be very happy if Amazon could deliver to me by drone but I just can't see how it will faster or cheaper than using a human on a moped.

    It works for pizzas (which are heavy, delicate and time sensitive). We'd need significant improvements in power storage density and AI before a drone would be a better solution than a human on a moped

    it would also help youth employment levels

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Mopeds?

      Sshh! Don't let Amazon hear you, or they will corner the flying pizza market as well.

      As an alternative to drones , I think the old butchers bike with a couple of modifications would do:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb9Xnvmk-N4

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Mopeds?

      "It works for pizzas (which are heavy, delicate and time sensitive). We'd need significant improvements in power storage density and AI before a drone would be a better solution than a human on a moped"

      All ready got that covered: orbital pizzas!

      Still a few bugs in the system though.

    3. F111F
      Coat

      Re: Mopeds?

      Worldwide pizza delivery already covered, with a CEP of only a couple hundred feet...

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZLJMl6GSxfc/UmwCMXrog-I/AAAAAAAANsI/wMyjk_Wc4s0/s1600/blast+door+we+deliver+3.jpg

      Mine's the one with the Minuteman II in the pocket...

  23. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

    Place order.

    They stare at the order on their screen for two days.

    Then they claim it's been shipped, but the courier has no record of it for two days

    Then it's being shipped for two days.

    Then it's 'Out For Delivery' for two days.

    Then it's 'Delayed by weather' for two days.

    That's what '2 Day' shipping means. Over a week.

    At least 'The Grand Tour' car show is worth it.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

      Not my experience. Two day shipping usually means two day delivery in my neck of the woods. Rarely it has taken as much as five. And I get deliveries on Sundays.

      But two day shipping does not mean two day order fulfillment, and it says that in the ToS.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

        Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

        It was noted that, "...two day shipping does not mean two day order fulfillment..."

        Historically, before signing up for Prime, Amazon would ship the order within *hours* after placing the order. I'd typically receive items in three or four days by regular mail.

        Now with Prime, it takes a week. Because they faff about for several days before even beginning the "fulfillment" process.

        One recent example was crystal clear. Their predicted "2 day" delivery, as shown on the order summary, was a full week. Before any further delays.

        I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Because it's been Xmas lately.

        Point remains valid. "2 days" is B.S. YMMV.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

          Two days plus one half day for fulfillment if I order at night is usual from key click to ripping open the box for me (if it is a prime deal). It is why I re-upped and re-upped again, even when the price for doing so went up. If they couldn't live up to the promise I wouldn't pay miller fer privilege.

          Including an order that went in on the evening of Wednesday the 21st and the box was in my hands on Christmas Eve. And three orders for stuff that were put in on the previous Monday morning and were in my hands by that Wednesday night.

          I admit that when I ordered that "home NAS" thing the Reg writer de jour was frothing over they told me that it would take weeks to deliver on account of them not actually having any in stock yet - so I cancelled the order and Amazon were happy to let me do that.

          I also had one order listed as prime that took five days to deliver, but that one was NOT shipped by Amazon, but by the vendor. Can't blame *Amazon* for that. That ball is squarely in the vendor's court (though they did deliver within the terms of service, even so, so there were no formal grounds for complaint).

          Returns, in the rare event I've had to make them (I think four times in as many years), have been a dream to conduct too. When I contrast this experience with what I went through when I lived and shopped in the UK I laugh 'till I cry. Yeah, "unfair" practice is what is killing the high street vendor.

          Amazon, right here, right now = toasted bacon sandwich with HP sauce good.

          You're living in the wrong place, Jeffeypoooh. 8o)

          1. Vic

            Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

            Including an order that went in on the evening of Wednesday the 21st and the box was in my hands on Christmas Eve

            A few months back, I put in an order at about 8pm on a Friday evening. The box was delivered about noon the following day. I was most chuffed[1].

            Vic.

            [1] Especially as I'd gone for the free delivery option. And because it was a case of wine.

          2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

            Stevie suggested "You're living in the wrong place..."

            As I've explained, they're taking several days to accomplish the so-called "fulfillment" step (an internal process that occurs wholly within the walls of their warehouse).

            This step has nothing to do with where I live (beyond being in Canada, in case that matters).

            Historically, this step used to require mere hours. Ever since I've signed up to Prime, it now requires several days. I've got ten orders since mid-December, and they're all about the same. Several days from ordering to 'Shipped'.

            Based on my experience, Prime "2 day" shipping is a bit slower than regular shipping. In part, because they're slower to "fulfill" the order. And in part perhaps due to Xmas.

            Perhaps it was not wise of Amazon to release 'The Grand Tour' to Prime Video (in Canada and elsewhere) just two weeks before Xmas?

            Again, YMMV.

            Why?

            USA and UK likely didn't experience the same Xmas aligned Prime spike, as TGT was released to Prime in the USA and UK a month earlier. That timing may be the explanation for the obviously differing experience.

            I assume that Prime in Canada had a huge spike, due to widespread love of Top Gear, and the mid-Dec timing of release of The Grand Tour. Speculation...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

          I assume all the comments about 2-day Prime delivery must be from US readers as in the UK it's 1-day delivery and in my experience over last couple of years it's almost 100% reliable (only one problem when Amazon emailed me to apologize that they'd lost one of my orders in transit and were resending it). Many times I've placed orders in middle of one day and picked it up from an Amazon locker on my way home from work the next day.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

            "almost 100% reliable" --- agreed.

            Son told me at 16:40 on the 27th that he had "not yet got round" to purchasing a secret santa gift for a visit to the family the following evening. 10 minutes later we had ordered it, 1 hour later it was dispatched and it arrived in Middlesbrough the next morning, about 12 hours before we did.

            Next day delivery of in stock Prime items is nearly always 100% reliable in my experience --- so much so we didn't even bother buying a back up gift in case it hadn't arrived.

    2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

      Where the heck do you live it takes that long to ship to? The Amazon? I hate Jeff Bezos as much as the next shop keeper but 2 days is 2 days...

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

        >Where the heck do you live it takes that long to ship to?

        How about to UK postcode TDCU 1ZZ?

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

          Y'can't put Amazon in the frame for postal delivery rates that rival continental drift in speed. That's down to The Usual Suspects.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

          How about to UK postcode TDCU 1ZZ?

          Comes back as not a valid UK postcode ( Amazon'a UK website)

          1. Richard 126

            Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

            TDCU 1ZZ is a perfectly good British Post Code it is for the overseas territory of Tristan da Cunha it was assigned in 2005 so Amazon should have managed to find it by now.

    3. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Amazon Prime "2 Day" shipping...

      Further data point.

      On sequential days, I ordered three items. The first item ordered on the first day was shipped "Two-Day", the next two items ordered on the second were shipped "Regular" (Canada Post).

      Canada Post delivered their two items today. In just less than two business days.

      I'm still waiting for the "Two-Day" item which was ordered a day before the others.

      Lesson learned. "Two-Day" is, in my case, bogus. It's slower than Regular. YMMV.

      I'll stick to "Regular" shipping from now on.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rather than concentrating on all the minutiae of how this could work I think its probably simpler to see this as a "defensive" patent ... Amazon probably remembered how they managed to prevent anyone else from doing "1-Click" ordering and as they brainstormed drone ideas came up with the possibility of delivering from flying warehouses so dropped off a patent so that if competitors came up with the same idea they could release the lawyers to stop them.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      a "defensive" patent

      "a "defensive" patent"

      Those sort of patents should have a maximum life of 12 months after which it must be clearly demonstrated that the patent holder is taking it seriously and actually working on producing the patented item or they lose it.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: a "defensive" patent

        That's already in patent law. They must actually produce the product or a competitor can challenge it on inactivity grounds.

        1. Vic

          Re: a "defensive" patent

          That's already in patent law. They must actually produce the product or a competitor can challenge it on inactivity grounds.

          [Citation needed], because if you were right, we would never have a problem with submarine patents.

          AFAIK, The only inactivity that matters is a failure to take action against known infringers of a patent - which can reduce or remove the damages paid by the infringer if the court believes that inactivity was intended to lure the defendant into further infringement.

          Vic.

          1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: a "defensive" patent

            I believe that Vic is correct. I've never seen anything about patents requiring 'activity' to remain valid. It doesn't even make sense.

            Submarine Patents were diminished by release of the Patent Applications. Essentially, forcing the submarines to the surface.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: a "defensive" patent

              "I've never seen anything about patents requiring 'activity' to remain valid. It doesn't even make sense."

              Just to clarify, this is a proposal, not a declaration of existing processes. What I'm proposing would not affect the purchasing of active patents for existing products by patent licensing companies (or trolls), but would be intended to torpedo the likes of Amazon filing for patents in advance of a "discovery" such as the one the article is about because they are purely trying to prohibit future development by *anyone* just in case they can make a business case for some, currently, pie in the sky theory.

              1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: a "defensive" patent

                Agreed "proposal".

                Our responses were to Chas 9 where he offered, "That's already in patent law... Etc."

  25. LDS Silver badge

    Death Star?

    Looks to me more an idea got from 'The Jetsons'. Guess there is a lot of prior art there....

  26. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    History of similar ideas

    Balloon Mail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_mail

    Rocket Mail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_mail

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From 45000 ft all it would need is a simple plain wing to get a bit of range. a guidance system and a parachute for braking. Attach to the packaging and drop.

    No need for a powered drone.

    I would be a bit concerned about the reliability of the parachute deployment as I do not relish having to use a JCB to retrieve my delivery.

    Incoming........

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, Amazon is really SkyNET?

    Laws would have to be written to allow this. How likely is that to happen without bribes?

    1. AdamWill

      Re: So, Amazon is really SkyNET?

      Well, that's what we *used* to think, but modern tech companies (i.e., Uber) are kindly opening our eyes to the apparent truth that laws are really just sort of mild suggestions...

  29. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    There's nothing to say but "Launch Angel Interceptors".

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Spectrum is green, Harmony!

  30. Winkypop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    AKA bombs!

    "they can navigate horizontally toward a user specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent,"

  31. Haku

    I bet the patent will run out before such a product delivery system is viable or wanted.

  32. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    This would be easy to drive out of business.

    Just order a bunch of stuff and refuse delivery or return to vendor when the tme comes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This would be easy to drive out of business.

      They'll terminate your account if your losing them money.

  33. Filippo

    I'm hereby establishing prior art for fulfillment centers in geosynchronous orbit, armed with drop-pods.

  34. smartypants

    They are missing an optimisation, which I hereby patent

    Cut out the container ship and truck journeys. Instead, tat is freighted by blimp direct from China, where it then takes up position over a town, then litters said town with a snow of tat over the next week until emptied, whereupon the blimp returns to China for a refill.

    I have drawn this badly on a piece of paper left over from christmas party games and submitted it to the patent office.

  35. Nehmo

    I know I'm a sucker, but...

    Sorry, but I want to buy something from that blimp. I don't care what it is, I just want the little drone to fly down from mama to me. I'm trying to think of something to buy now.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I know I'm a sucker, but...

      Nehmo "I want to buy something from that blimp. I don't care what it is..."

      Anvils.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I know I'm a sucker, but...

        "Anvils."

        Made by Acme of course.

        1. Stuart Elliott

          Re: I know I'm a sucker, but...

          No, that'd be the ACME Parachute Kit.

  36. chivo243 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Wait a minute here

    Isn't this a script from a failed 1970's disaster film?

    My Googlefu is failing me at this time. Anyone else remember this?

  37. David Paul Morgan
    Coat

    Amazon (Cloud) Base

    Gerry Anderson Lawyers, line one!

    or Skyship One from the film...

    https://goo.gl/images/f8iYnH

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense, it's going to be pretty tricky to rob them at night if they're in the air.

    Will Amazon become BnL not consistent with the Utopian Pixar view?

  39. Magani
    Linux

    At an ATC centre of the future...

    Gatwick Approach: "Speedbird 123, traffic is 12 o'clock, 2 miles, passing FL80 on descent, squawking as an Amazon Delivery drone containing pizza, popcorn and a Windows 11 tablet addressed to a Mr A Hancock of Railway Cuttings, East Cheam. Advise traffic in sight."

    Turns my penguin's blood cold just thinking about it.

  40. Bad Beaver
    Angel

    Airborne Fulfillment – DELIVER US!

    The best thing: Once Alexa becomes self-aware, whole cities will be obliterared with areal bombardments comprised of toasters, smartphones and sextoys. Out of the rubble, a new kind of techno-cultist society will emerge, praying to the angry blimp beyond the clouds.

    "When the sky god is furious, he sends the hard rain"

  41. John70

    Airships are so last century. What they need is a Helicarrier.

  42. W4YBO

    Don't let Bruce Dern anywhere near it...

    Remember the movie "Black Sunday"?

  43. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Perhaps...

    It is a kind of stealth or catch all patent? As in, no one in their right minds things they will every build this design. But they think some aspect of it is vital (say using blimps for cargo transport between warehouses) and want to patent the idea so no one else can use it....

  44. Sam Therapy
    WTF?

    Your washing machine will arrive in 10,9,8,7....

    Aaaagh! Run away!

  45. 101

    Maybe Amazon should use some of their billions of revenue dollars to provide warehouse employees a living wage with humane work conditions rather than fritter money away on pipe dreams. And you know the kind of pipe I am talking about.

    Frankly, if this was such a good idea UPS, FedEx maybe even some post offices around the world would be working on it.

    Another version of this...idea...included flying blimps. And, of course using little drone thingys to buzz around dropping packages onto the targeted masses when they aren't crashing into innocent pedestrians.

    1. Vic

      Frankly, if this was such a good idea UPS, FedEx maybe even some post offices around the world would be working on it.

      DHL have been.

      Vic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How do you spell "prior art"?

        Oh, is this USPTO we're talking about, where it's obvious they don't bother with such antiquated concepts ...... ?

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Yeah... No! If anything they should use this BEELLIONS to further Mechanize thier outfit, and sack the last useless Meatsack standing. Like MickyD's have been doing with those Touchscreen Order Pads that some Stores have now. This is how you deal with those Living Wage Freaks! Perhaps next time you might be able to work your way, up to a real Job that pays something closer to what you want.

      But, as it pertains to your 15$(USD), Burger flipper Position, yeah good luck with that! Cause I'm not gonna support that sh-- by purchasing, (What was a 4.95€ Burger with Fries, and Cola), a 7.98€ Meal. Just so baby can keep its first Entry Level Position.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "Yeah... No! If anything they should use this BEELLIONS to further Mechanize thier outfit, and sack the last useless Meatsack standing. Like MickyD's have been doing with those Touchscreen Order Pads that some Stores have now."

        Now, behind-the-scenes stuff there's little one can do to stop automation since none of the customers really see what goes on there, but in point-of-sale people really prefer to talk to a face, if anything because most people's orders aren't all that simple ("And hey, can I have the cone first? I want to be able to eat it while I wait for everything else."). Given the choice between a touchscreen and a person, prices being equal, customers will focus on the person. So what will happen when they see their business at the touchscreen locations drop versus person locations? Will they be forced to start closing locations altogether?

        I haven't seen the touchscreens at my place yet, but this may be because they're trying something different: order by app, which offsets the lack of a person two ways: you're not there yet (so you're not expected to talk to a face), and you're ordering ahead (so you save time, especially if you're re-ordering a favorite menu).

  46. John H Woods Silver badge

    PARIS option?

    ... if the descending drones were paper aeroplanes it might be possible to make them so cheap that they are little more than "advanced packaging" ... No need to return them to the mother ship, just toss them in the recycling ...

    1. Vic

      Re: PARIS option?

      if the descending drones were paper aeroplanes it might be possible to make them so cheap that they are little more than "advanced packaging"

      There's a group at Southampton University who are making paper planes and printing circuitry on them using conductive ink. There's going to be a way to go to make disposable delivery aircraft viable, but it's not beyond the realms of fantasy...

      Vic.

      1. Spamfast Bronze badge
        WTF?

        Re: PARIS option?

        but it's not beyond the realms of fantasy

        So you're saying it's within the realms of fantasy i.e. unreal?

        (I'll get my coat.)

  47. Templogin

    Slow fermentation

    My cider order is due to be shipped in 1 to 2 months using Prime, but at least it arrives in one piece when it does get here. I wonder if the drones will do the same?

  48. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Accoutrements

    Black helmet and Darth Vader theme music.

  49. David Pearce

    45,000ft is crazy for an airship. While climbing to altitude, the lift cells will expand, requiring venting or pumping out, to be restored during descent. At that altitude pressure is down to 14% of ground level and the difference in density between helium and air therefore about 1/7th.

    An airship that can lift 70 tons off the ground can only lift 10 tons at 45k. As the airship itself doesn't get lighter, the payload becomes non-existant

  50. Stuart Elliott

    Shouldn't the click bait be....

    Amazon files for Hindenburg flying warehouse?

  51. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Would this not rather be

    More of your Star Destroyer, (Seeing as they can hover inside a Planetary Atmosphere), than your typical "That's NOT a Moon!" Death Star which can't?

  52. Fattyman

    Patenting the idea of a warehouse floating above and making it work is something very different. There are many problems of such a warehouse like: how long should this warehouse fly around? How new goods will be delivered to this warehouse. Are there any commercial available mini-drones capable of flying up to 30.000 m (15.000 in both directions)? What kind of fuel these mini-drones whould use?

    So it is very questionable if this idea could really be implemented in the next time.

  53. Shaha Alam

    how do the drones get back to the mothership?

    i suggest making the drones edible, as yummy low-calorie treats. it would solve the problem.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019