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Walmart files patent for blockchain-powered drone communication system

Thu, 15 Aug 2019, 07:59 am UTC

Retail giant Walmart has filed a patent application, entitled “Cloning Drones Using Blockchain,” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this month.

Dated August 01, the application describes a method of drone-drone communication using blockchain technology.

The system would involve encrypting and storing the operational parameters of a drone in a block of a blockchain. This encrypted data is then passed on to another drone, which is “in proximity of the first drone.” The second drone would decrypt the data, retrieve the operational parameters, and ultimately configure to those parameters.

The filing basically describes a system of distributing and relaying messages and database information resources among two or more devices. These devices could be unmanned or autonomous vehicles, drones, robotics, communication devices, or any other electronic device.

“The advantages of using blockchain may include providing integrity of the information being delivered. 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 document reads.

This, however, is not Walmart’s first application related to a blockchain-based system for drones, CoinDesk reported. The company filed a patent application for a blockchain-based drone package delivery system back in 2017.

Earlier this month, Walmart also filed a stablecoin-focused patent application. The filing said that the digital currency “may be pegged to the US dollar” and might be made available “only at selected retailers or partners.”

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