Space & Innovation

Street Lamps Could Serve as Drone Docking Stations

Birds have already figured out what Amazon wants to exploit: street lights make great resting places for those who fly.

We've all seen birds hanging out on street lamps. What a great resting place for a winged creature.

Amazon seems to have taken inspiration because they've received a patent (first filed in 2014) to develop technology that would turn street lights into docking stations for their delivery drones, reports the DailyMail.

RELATED: U.S. Skies Now Open for Commercial Drones

The patent, called Multi-use UAV Docking Station Systems and Methods, would give drones a place to rest and recharge, drop off and pick up packages, and hunker down during rough weather.

It states that other tall objects could be used, in addition to street lights:

"The system could also be installed on other existing structures such as cell towers, church steeples, office buildings, parking decks, radio towers, telephone/electrical poles and other vertical structures," reads the patent.

It sounds feasible and quite practical. I just have one question. What does the drone do when it approaches a street light for landing only to find a pelican already resting?

From their high perspective and discreet presence, drones have the ability to capture unique aerial images. Mobile app maker Dronestagram saw the potential for a contest and this year's winners are truly inspiring. Dronestagram executives, along with staff from National Geographic, reviewed more than 5,000 photos taken by drones around the world to identify the top winners. Here, you'll find aerial imagery ranging from snorkelers in French Polynesia to a cliff diver in Mazatlan, Mexico. Enjoy! Above: This photo radiates suspense as snorkelers swim in the center of eight gliding sharks in French Polynesia. The photo took top honors in the "Nature" category.

A custom-built drone rose above the fog to capture this photograph of the cross at the top of the Cathedral of Maringa in Brazil. It won first prize in the "Places" category.

In the "Dronies" category, which represents selfie-like photos taken with drones, an image of a group of people dressed like they are out of a Where’s Wally scene (better known as Where’s Waldo in America) won first place. Where were they really? At Limassol Carnival in Cyprus.

This picture of participants at the very beginning of La Jolla, San Diego’s Pier-To-Cove ocean race took second in the "Nature" category.

Taking second place in the "Places" category, this photo of the Mont Saint-Michel island commune in Normandy, France, features calm waters, a gorgeous landmark and a spectacular sky.

This photo features Plovdiv, an ancient Bulgarian city, lit up magically at night. The image took second price for the "Popular" category, which represents the most-liked photos.

Taking third place in the "Nature" category, this photo of a tropical island in French Polynesia shows spectacular aerial imagery of a group of people with their toes in the water, along with lush trees and a breathtaking sky. Look closely and you’ll also find a hidden rainbow.

This image of a colorful field of tulips in the Netherlands and a group of people strolling trough them took third prize in the "Places" category.

This adventure-packed photo features a cliff diver in Mazatlan, Mexico, about to plummet into crystal clear water. This image was awarded third place for the "Popular" category.