Tech

Amazon's Delivery Drones To Drop Packages Using Parachutes

By Edge Ison , Feb 16, 2017 02:07 AM EST

Amazon was granted a patent that will allow the company to complete the delivery of packages by propelling them from delivery drones. The package's descent will then be controlled using parachutes and other methods.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rewarded the patent to the popular e-commerce company last Tuesday, Feb. 14. The patent, entitled "Maneuvering a package following in-flight release from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)", simply describes some methods that will allow a delivery drone to safely bring a package to the recipient by releasing it while in mid-air.

PC Mag noted in its report that drone flying is illegal in some areas. But if Amazon gets its way and allowed to use drones to complete deliveries, it still has a number of impediments to overcome. Of course, there'll be issues with possible theft, accidents caused by the drone, or the UAV getting stuck in trees. One problem seen with the use of parachutes is that the package may be affected by the elements like strong winds and rain.

A possible solution is a method in which the drone will propel the package with a little force. The force will make sure the package is in the right path and trajectory while a chute will deploy to soften its landing. According to CNN, the patent is not limited to parachute use. In fact, it includes two other methods of completing deliveries through controlled descent. One other method is through the use of compressed air canisters while the other one will make use of landing flaps.

Once the packages are discharged from the UAV, the delivery drone will still be able to monitor and control its descent with the help of sensors included with the package. In the event that the package strays from its path, the drone can make the necessary adjustments by deploying one or more parachutes. The compressed canister can also fire a blast to change directions while air flaps can also be deployed to control descent of the package.

Amazon was previously granted the patent for what is described as a "floating warehouse". The so-called airborne fulfillment center or AFC will act as the mothership of Amazon's fleet of delivery drones. The blimp will carry stocks for delivery as well as serve as the UAV's airport.

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