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Amazon’s New Drone Patent Includes Explosive Charges!

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On November 28, 2017, Amazon filed a drone patent for a delivery UAV that could ditch its components midair in an emergency situation. With an anticipated growth of packaged delivery by drones in the future, Amazon decided to design a drone with a safety feature for a worst-case scenario. In the event of an inevitable crash, Amazon’s patented drone would fall apart piece by piece to mitigate crash damage. Basically, Amazon created a drone that could scan its surroundings and dismantle itself once it enables a safety mode called fragmentation sequence mode.

drone patent

Amazon’s Drone Patent – How Will it Work?

A customer would first have to order an Amazon item through a computer or mobile device. Then the items would get packaged into a special shipping container. Once the container is securely connected to the drone, the UAV would then autonomously fly to a specific delivery zone. The drone patent filed by Amazon is a safety precaution for circumstances when the drone encounters unexpected problems. Amazon factored high winds, overheating components and other malfunctions as possible in-flight problems that had to be addressed. They created fragmentation sequence mode to allow the drone to selectively shed its own weight before making an impact. Amazon’s drone would also be able to detect its surroundings, which includes everything from buildings to mountains. The drone’s flight sensors would use terrain information to know where to discard certain components. The drone will also be designed to recognize bodies of water as possible drop-off points.

drone patent

How Will it Release its Components?

Amazon’s drone patent included an electromagnet, springs and even small explosive charges to release the components. Drone parts such as batteries, cameras, antennas, fuel tanks, loading bays and other components were listed as possible candidates for fragmentation.

drone patent

Amazon and the Future of Drone Delivery

This drone patent is only one step of a long process, so it will probably take some time before it can actually pan out into reality. Amazon has previously filed other patents such as a beehive distribution center, so these out-of-the-box ideas are anything but new. At this point, it’ll be more a surprise if Amazon releases something expected. Amazon has consistently shown unique ideas to tackle future drone problems. If they are going to lead the drone delivering industry, then they will have to prove that these ideas work in real time.

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