AMAZON GETS PATENT FOR DELIVERY DRONES THAT CAN BE WAVED DOWN BY CUSTOMERSDate: 2018-03-30
If, or when, Amazon's delivery drones do actually enter our lives, what will they look like and how might they move around? Will these drones launch from moving trains or blimps? Will they be able to recharge on lamp posts and self-destruct in midair? If the latest patient issued to the company is anything to go by, perhaps they will be waved down by customers awaiting their deliveries.
Amazon filed a patent for a drone system that would allow for human interaction with unmanned aerial vehicles back in July 2016 and was awarded it by the US patent office last week.
The document describes that the drones will be able to respond to human gestures, both audible and visual. These would be picked up by the drone's light and audio sensors and compared to a database of human gestures. The drone would then take appropriate action, meaning that it might move closer to humans, if they are waving it over in an inviting way, or further away if they are performing a shooing gesture and screaming angrily, for example.
The idea behind this is that the drone will be unmanned and will drop deliveries off to customers within 30 minutes of ordering their supplies online via Amazon's online store (obviously!). Although it is making some progress on the project, there is still plenty to work through when it comes to regulatory approval.