Beyond that ceiling is a drone hangar. A drone lifts off, hovers over the conveyor belt, snatches your package and softly hums out the hangar door. The drone navigates past others of its kind and past telephone poles or other obstacles and gently sets your package down on your front walk or balcony.

Much of what’s described above is possible today—in a limited fashion. But things become much more complicated at scale. Orchestrating fleets of autonomous drones will require tightly integrated technologies and systems that allow drones to sense and respond to obstacles and each other in near real time. It will require networks that can transport massive amounts of data in near real time. It will require offloading those computing capabilities to the network edge. In short, it will require mobile edge computing (MEC) and 5G.

Putting compute power in reach of the robots

MEC is a way of building compute and storage resources at the edge…

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