Amazon is clearly determined to deliver packages via drone using prime Air with Prime Air drone delivery earlier this year at the Mars Conference. Now the system is again a step forward with the granting of a patent Amazon filed back in 2015.
The patent is for an “Aerial Package Delivery System”, but more specifically a new type of shipping label. Why do you have a patent for the shipping label? Because Amazon has made with a built-in parachute.
The sheer size of the orders, Amazon is going with each day, each aspect of the package must work as efficiently as possible. This label is no exception. The patent describes a label with an adhesive back and with, “a multitude of parachute ropes, a parachute and an escape to cover.” Sensors can also be included on the feedback of the landing accuracy, and even a shock absorber is disclosed.
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The label attached to the top of the pack, which then sits against the bottom of the drone in flight. When the package is dropped, the parachute is deployed as the drone releases, allowing for a steady descent to the ground. For larger packets, there is nothing to stop multiple parachute tags attached to ensure a safe drop.
With the help of a parachute makes a lot of sense for drone deliveries. With the drone drop the package would require a lot more energy, what would the removal of the drone’s battery faster. It also puts the drone, the risk to be stolen, and the people on the ground, at the risk of injury by the drone. Dropping packets from a safe height removes those risks, although someone could still get hit on the head by a falling package.
Amazon is the taking of drone deliveries and the use of parachutes very seriously. They are even thinking about ways to maneuver a package once dropped off, with the landing flaps and air canisters listed in a patent filing discovered back in February.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.