Amazon at work building drones that deliver wherever you are

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Offline arefin

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Amazon has been hard at work on designing and building drones that can deliver parcels to customers. Recently they have been focusing on the design of a drone that would be able to deliver to customers wherever they are, suggests a patent given to the US Patent and Trademark Office.


[Image Courtesy of Shutterstock]

Wouldn’t it be great if a drone could deliver that ingredient you forgot when you’re about to make dinner? Or deliver fresh milk to your doorstep just as your coffee maker finished its brewing cycle. This and more may all be possible in the future as Amazon have just revealed a patent application for Prime Air drones and it seems that if and when they finally make it to the market they may not be limited to delivering to homes.

Amazon is designing the Prime Air drones so that they can deliver to a GPS position. This seems to suggest that the drones may be able to track down a customer via the GPS on their smartphone and deliver the parcel to them wherever they may be.

The Bring It To Me delivery system which Amazon have put on the patent could actually bring parcels to people and it wouldn’t matter if they weren’t at home or the office. A person could essentially be sitting in a boat in the middle of the ocean and the drone could deliver the parcel to them. The patent was applied for last September and the trademark office recently made it public.

The patent says “With the implementations described herein, a user now has the ability to choose “Bring It To Me.” With this option, the actual location of the user is determined and the UAV delivers the item to the current location of the user… For example, the user may identify their current location by allowing Global Positioning System (“GPS”) data to be provided by their mobile device.”

The patent also described a communications network for the Amazon fleet of drones which relays data between the drones and helps with the route planning. Information they could share includes air traffic, weather and conditions for landing.

It was also suggested that more than one drone may be able to participate in the delivery of one item. For instance, a parcel could be picked up by one drone and taken to a relay location and another drone could take over and complete the delivery.

The Prime Air delivery service of Amazon was announced in 2013 and there was mixed responses from the general public. However it does look as though Amazon are serious about the system and do intend to roll it out. They have been talking with the Federal Aviation Administration to fast track the testing and drones are currently being tested north of the border in Canada.

Via [US Patent & Trademark]
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Taslim Arefin
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DIU