Amazon has been putting a lot of work into the development of drone shipping fleets, and in its latest patent has described a system for controlling drones that looks quite a bit like air traffic controllers gone loco!
The latest patent filed by the ecommerce giant regarding drone deliveries has garnered quite some attention n the media, as it describes a drone equipped with various sensors, cameras and other equipment that can recognize people’s gestures and then respond accordingly. The illustrations of the patent are actually quite amusing, bordering on cartoonish and comical.
The patent, which was initially filed in July 2016, is intended to help the drone to correctly complete its journey and to complete the delivery in the best way.
The quadcopter would take advantage of people’s gestures to lower their speed and to adjust the direction to hold to deliver the package. The drone would then return home to the delivery van, as described in the figure below.
The concept expressed in the patent is interesting and and even possible since there are already drones on the market that recognize the gestures of people and perform specific operations accordingly.
However, this idea would apply to logistics and would make the delivery phase more precise, reliable and secure.
Obviously, being a patent and there is therefore no guarantee that Amazon really intends to put into practice what has been conceived. In any case, the idea seems interesting and if indeed the ecommerce giant will be able to launch its fleet of delivery drones, perhaps it will be able to apply this concept too.
Amazon is not the only company with ideas to create drones that can be controlled by gestures. DJI’s Spark drone which can be directed with hand movements, and another recent patent by Samsung described a drone which can track users’ eyes, heads and hands.
Other patents by Amazon include ‘drone beacon pods‘ which transmit location data to delivery drones in remote areas, using consumer networks in return for cash rewards.