Wednesday 22nd Feb 2017 - Logistics Manager

Amazon patents drone parachute

Amazon has patented the transport of goods from drones to homes via parachute. This comes soon after the e-commerce giant patented an airborne fulfilment centre designed for service deliveries made by drones.

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 11.32.20

Amazon’s visual description of the plan.

Amazon outlines plans in the patent for a package delivery system that can “forcefully propel a package from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), while the UAV is in motion.”

The document states that as it stands, to deliver a package to a destination an UAV or ‘drone’, it needs to be physically dropped off; describing the sequence of landing and taking off for every delivery as generating “time and energy resource inefficiencies”.

The patent says a UAV could apply a force to a package which would alter its “descent trajectory from a parabolic path to a vertical descent path.” It outlines a number of ways in which a drone could generate and apply the force, including: pneumatic actuators, electromagnets, spring coils, and parachutes.

The monitoring of the package delivery system during its descent is another feature described in the patent. It says:

“The package can be equipped with one or more control surfaces. Instructions can be transmitted from the UAV via an RF module that cause the one or more controls surfaces to alter the vertical descent path of the package to avoid obstructions or to regain a stable orientation.”