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Walmart looks at Blockchain for automated delivery drones

US: Walmart’s recent patent endeavors have demonstrated how the retail giant is making a foray into blockchain technology and also focusing on autonomous delivery drones.

The patent application details a system by which “autonomous electronic devices” communicate with each other wirelessly and pass transported objects to each other after an identification process.

Drones would depend on a database of delivery information stored on whichever blockchain the company is operating.

For identifying each other, robots could use a variety means to transmit signals from one to the other, including RFID codes, QR codes or ultrasound, the patent filing says.


As per the filing, the use of automated technology is envisioned as a way to reduce the times at which elements of the delivery process have to be “trusted.” Indeed, Walmart argues that the fact that consumers would have to trust the delivery of their goods to flying machines “raises challenges related to security” and requires a reliable system of identification for the drones.

The blockchain system described in the filing comprises “a plurality of nodes configured to generate computational proof of record integrity and the chronological order of its use for content, trade, and/or as a currency of exchange through a peer-to-peer network,” the document says.