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Amazon delivery drones explained in patent publication

13 May 2015 - 09:34 by Mike Price

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When it was first announced that online retailer, Amazon, was in the process of developing drones specifically designed to deliver products to customers, an immense amount of media coverage was generated. But until this week, only a small amount of information about these machines has been available.

Thankfully, the US Patent Office has published details of the filing made by the e-commerce giant last autumn, meaning that much more is now known about what its delivery drones will be capable of, according to BBC News.

The most interesting thing about the drones is that they will be endowed with intelligent systems and software, which make it possible for people to order products via safe shopping online, and have them shipped to wherever they happen to be while making on the fly changes.

This means drones will be able to adjust their courses and plot new routes after having been deployed to make a delivery. So if someone realises they need to be elsewhere to collect their parcel, the drone can take this into account.

Amazon’s patent filing includes prototype interface screenshots, with delivery options ranging from home delivery to delivery on a boat, suggesting that all types of customers will be accommodated by the scheme.

In terms of hardware, the drones will come with integrated motion sensors, cameras and a range of other important aeronautical equipment, such as sonar and radar. All of this will go towards making sure that it has found a safe place to land.

The drones will also be able to detect the presence of obstacles of all kinds, ensuring humans, animals and properties are not damaged. Amazon is even building a drone development facility in the UK, meaning that Brits who enjoy shopping online may be among the first to benefit from drone delivery.