DroneDek Patents Solar-Powered, Weather-Resistant Docking Station for Drone Deliveries

DroneDek calls it the ‘mailbox of the future,’ and as a solar-powered docking station with cooled and heated cargo areas, it certainly seems original.

DroneDek

Indianapolis-based DroneDek has officially been awarded a U.S. patent for its solar-powered, weather-resistant drone delivery-centric docking station after filing an application for it in December. In the quietly rumbling ascent to nationwide drone deliveries, DroneDek has essentially conceived of and patented a secure, easily installable docking station, which delivery drones of all kinds can ideally deliver their payloads to. According to the press release via PR Newswire, the company considers this the “mailbox of the future.”

It’s frankly quite stunning that the idea hasn’t been formally put forth until now, but a tinge of frustrating hindsight is usually par for the course when it comes to innovation in technology. In simple terms, the DroneDek is a mailbox that securely receives aerial deliveries and operates on solar power to open and close its compartment as well as communicate with a user’s smartphone. So when you’re ordering that pizza in, say, 2021, your apartment building’s DroneDek would receive the pie and you’d conveniently enter an agreed upon code to grab your order. Pretty nifty, right?

Of course, pizzas and toothpaste aren’t the only payloads being tested by companies across the United States, as aerial medical supply deliveries are increasingly gathering steam, too. The DroneDek, quite cleverly, is described as having heated and cooled areas within, so that a heat-sensitive plasma sample, for instance, wouldn’t go to waste as it waits for a customer to retrieve it. In terms of power, the patent details both solar-powered and 110-volt power supply options, which would even be able to charge incoming drones with dying batteries. 

Let's take a closer look at this thing, shall we?

The patent is sure to detail that the Drone Dek could practically be mounted on a porch, roof, balcony, or existing mailbox post, essentially ensuring that this technology wouldn’t be restricted by the infrastructure of our cities. In other words, the thinking here was to logically adapt to what our societies look like, not establish specialized DroneDek zones, or additional equipment and permissions. The only hindrance, it seems, is the financing to get this done, and federal regulations that allow for legal, nationwide, commercial drone deliveries. Someday, perhaps sooner than we think, the mailbox of the future will receive your next late-night online shopping order.