Amazon gets patent for package parachutes
It’s no secret that Amazon’s been pursuing the delivery-by-drone method for a while now, but now we have a better idea about the next step in the evolution of that plan thanks to a new patent the mega-company received.
As flagged by GeekWire, Amazon has received a patent for a shipping label with a parachute built in, intended for “packages to be dropped from the aerial vehicle, yet land at the package’s destination without damage.”
The parachute would be built in as part of the shipping label but done so using a harness or other method that keeps the cords of the parachute from getting tangled, screwing up the parachute, and sending your latest Precious Moments figurine purchase crashing to the ground.
According to the patent, the parachute could be made from any number of materials, including paper, canvas, silk, nylon, or a combination.
The execution of the plan is simple: the drone launches with the package, flies to its location, confirms its location (via GPS, cell location, or even an onboard camera), drops the package to the ground safely, and then flies away.
Video or other sensors like radar can confirm the successful deployment of the parachuted package.
There are still plenty of things to take into consideration, too, like the weight of the package and rate of descent. Other issues include the exact location of delivery. Can a drone safely maneuver its way to your front porch like a UPS driver or will it be plopped in your yard where it’s exposed to the elements, from rain to the neighbor’s dog?
The patent does note that if the package winds up, say, on your roof or in a tree, the drone will be able to communicate with a control center to let them know. Perhaps a push notification of hey, the package is stuck in a tree, whoops, my bad.
If you’re into that sort of thing, the entire patent goes into more detail about the materials that could be used, how the parachute would fit into the label, and all kinds of other possibilities. MAGIC POSSIBILITIES.