US 11,656,636 B1
Augmented aerial sortation
Gabriel McDonald, Somerville, MA (US); and Sowmya Shankar, Wilmington, MA (US)
Assigned to Amazon Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA (US)
Filed by Amazon Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA (US)
Filed on Jul. 24, 2020, as Appl. No. 16/938,255.
Int. Cl. G06Q 50/28 (2012.01); B64C 39/02 (2023.01); G05D 1/00 (2006.01); G08C 17/02 (2006.01); G05D 1/10 (2006.01); G06Q 50/26 (2012.01); B64U 101/60 (2023.01)
CPC G05D 1/104 (2013.01) [B64C 39/024 (2013.01); G05D 1/0027 (2013.01); G05D 1/0094 (2013.01); G06Q 50/28 (2013.01); G08C 17/02 (2013.01); B64U 2101/60 (2023.01); B64U 2201/20 (2023.01); G06Q 50/265 (2013.01)] 17 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method comprising:
receiving a plurality of items;
determining, based on physical characteristics of the plurality of items, a first subset of the plurality of items to sort using drones in an aerial sortation system and a second subset of the plurality of items to sort using drive units in a ground sortation system;
sorting, using the drones, the first subset of the plurality of items into a plurality of shared containers; and
sorting, using the drive units, the second subset of the plurality of items into the plurality of shared containers, wherein the first and second subset of the plurality of items are sorted based on a destination of the plurality of items, wherein the items in each container of the plurality of shared containers have a common destination,
wherein the plurality of shared containers are recessed below a mezzanine, wherein the drive units traverse the mezzanine to eject the second subset of the plurality of items through chutes corresponding to the plurality of shared containers, and wherein the drones navigate an air space above the mezzanine.