When it comes to drones, Amazon seems to have no shortage of ideas. In December, The Verge reported that Amazon filed a patent for a flying airship warehouse designed to expedite drone deliveries.
Although it may not be as wild as an airship, CNN reports that the US Patent and Trademark office granted Amazon a patent for a new method to deliver packages via drone: parachutes.
Drones will “radio a message” to deploy package parachutes
The patent shows that drones will deploy packages “at altitude” and “monitor and adjust package trajectory during descent.” As CNN reports, Amazon’s drones could “radio a message to an off-course package, instructing it to deploy a parachute, compressed air canister or landing flap.”
The parachute patent is the latest development in Amazon’s ongoing experimentations with Prime Air, which has included drones landing in order to deliver packages. Currently, Amazon’s drones are fully autonomous and are equipped with sense and avoid technology to ensure safety.
Fully autonomous drones are still illegal in the US
Their full autonomy, however, remains an issue for the company’s drone delivery aspirations in the US. Drones still need direct human supervision in order to be legally operated, according to CNN, although US companies no longer need a pilot’s license to operate them. Amazon, however, launched a private trial in the UK in December, where one person monitored and operated multiple automated drones.