Walmart Seeks Patent for Blockchain-Based Drone Communication

Walmart has reconfirmed its interest in blockchain-backed drones with a recent patent application.

Commerce mammoth Walmart filed for an application entitled “Cloning Drones Using Blockchain” in January this year with the United States Patent and Trademark Office posting the patent on August 1. The patent for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) blockchain-based coordination framework was published the same day as Walmart’s digital currency patent application.

The patent application isn’t Walmart’s first dip into blockchain-backed drone tech. In 2017, Walmart applied a patent for a blockchain-based drone package delivery framework, among other uses.

According to the patent, blockchain innovation is utilized to transmit data, like drone identification numbers, flight heights, flight speeds, flight routes, battery data, or stacking capacity, to other drones. Data can be shared based on the common area between drones.

The patent claims that the benefit of blockchain technology lies in information integrity:

“A blockchain ledger may store any kind of information that may be stored in any other format or medium, for example, a large list of instructions of different types, navigational information, and maps. In such a way, a same software profile may be deployed across the cloned drones.”

The application adds to a range of other UAV applications by the commerce mogul with most portraying a delivery service of sorts.

Coordination and communication are also recorded as essential uses. By encrypting information on a decentralized ledger, operational parameters can be executed without fear of being compromised.

However, patent application publishing and patent issuance are not the same. The patent applications are the primary step in a lengthy application process.