Walmart, a leading retail giant, has filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Notably, Walmart is seeking to clone drones using blockchain. Interestingly, the patent application is tied to the retail giant’s earlier patent for a digital currency. However, this is not the first time Walmart is thinking of a blockchain-based drone system.
In 2017, the retail giant filed a patent with the USPTO pertaining to a delivery management system involving robotics, drones, and a group of sensors.
Not specific but has a hypothetical delivery
According to Fortune, a reputable news outlet, Walmart’s earlier patent wasn’t clear on specifics. However:
“Its authors lay[ed] out the general mechanics of a hypothetical delivery. Here’s how it works: As a drone approaches a delivery box, it authenticates itself with a ‘blockchain identifier,’ a type of numeric or encrypted key. If the code is valid, then the box unlocks, opens, and accepts the package.”
On its recent patent application, Walmart is planning to use blockchain technology to transmit drone-related information such as flight altitudes, battery information, identification numbers, flight routes, flight speeds, and loading capabilities. Additionally, the technology will be able to share the drone’s middle location.
According to Walmart:
“The blockchain technology can store various types of information in any other format or medium, such as different kinds of instruction lists, navigation information, and maps. With the blockchain, you can deploy the same software configuration file on a cloned drone.”
For Walmart, blockchain is equal to privacy and security
Notably, the retail giant is trusting the blockchain technology to provide trust, security, privacy, among other advantages.
Additionally, Walmart aims to develop:
“A blockchain-based system of drone-drone communications, comprising a plurality of drones configured to: receive an encrypted message by an initial drone of the plurality of drones, wherein the encrypted message is addressed to a destination drone of the plurality of drones and encrypted by a unique identifier of the destination drone; store the encrypted message in a first block of a blockchain.”
Interestingly, in 2018, Walmart filed another patent defining a blockchain-based system for deliveries. According to the patent details, the retail giant outlines an in-field authentication of autonomous electronic devices to enhance security in shipments. The patent was titled “Systems, Devices, and Methods for In-Field Authenticating of Autonomous Robots.”
Walmart fights Facebook Libra
In August this year, Walmart filed another patent for a digital currency similar to Facebook’s Libra. As per the patent titled “System and Method Digital Currency via Blockchain,” the system will generate:“One digital currency unit by tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency; storing information of the one digital currency unit into a block of a blockchain; buying or paying the one digital currency unit.”