Walmart wants to combine robot and drone delivery

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has a war chest of institutional funding at its disposal, and its massive scale allows it to spend that money on any number of speculative ventures without undertaking potentially disastrous risk. Already, the company has experimented with solutions like drone delivery, food delivery robots and fully autonomous box trucks. A new patent, though, seeks to combine all three.

The patent, filed last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes a solution that combines driverless technology with delivery drones and robots. Under the proposal, Walmart would use automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that follow a predetermined route. But if they run into any obstacles, they would automatically release a drone to complete the delivery.