If implemented, new patent filed by Amazon will solve the problem of drone landing and keep packages from breaking upon impact.
After Amazon proposed a floating airship warehouse, the company’s drone program patents continue, they have has now filed a patent for parachute-aided delivery of packages.
If the patent is implemented, Amazon’s delivery drones will not need to land to deliver the parcels. Instead, the drone will release the parcels while still flying, and it will deploy parachutes to slow their descent and ensure the items delivered don’t get broken.
However, parachutes can cause problems as well. Strong winds might blow over the parcel to the neighbor’s lawn. This is why Amazon integrated a second patent in their drone, now the drone will keep hovering and monitor the parcel, if it moves off course, the drone will interfere to correct its descent. It can deploy several methods, such as bursts of compressed air to sticking out flaps.
This patent’s main focus is how to guarantee that the parcel can be dropped without continuing on the same trajectory as the drone. The patent explains “A package delivery system can be implemented to forcefully propel a package from a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), while the UAV is in motion.
The package delivery system can apply the force on to the package in a number of different ways. For example, pneumatic actuators, electromagnets, spring coils and parachutes can generate the force that establishes the vertical descent path of the package.”
Amazon’s drone delivery system, called Prime Air, is being continually refined by the company, as evidenced by the patent. Amazon is claiming to be conducting real-world trials in Cambridgeshire, England. When Amazon last spoke publicly about the trial, it had very specific customers in mind; they needed to have huge gardens, they should be living close to the delivery depot, and they would want items weighing less than 2.6kg, only two customers qualified. The company is hoping to increase this number to dozens within the coming months.