Amazon has filed a patent for a delivery drone that responds when you call or wave at it. The patent was spotted by GeekWire and the concept drone is designed to recognize human gestures, and then respond accordingly. Gestures the drone would recognize include, for example, waving arms, pointing, the flashing of lights, and speech. (The illustration shows a man wildly waving his arms and with a speech bubble next to his mouth).
The patent was initially filed in July 2016 and published this week. “The human recipient and / or the other humans can communicate with the vehicle using human gestures to aid the vehicle along its path to the delivery location,” the patent states. The patent gives an example of a “shooing” motion, which the drone would recognize and stop moving closer. The drone would also then adjust its speed and the direction it’s moving in. If a person waves their arms in a welcoming manner, the drone can interpret the gesture as an instruction to deliver the package.
The patent details several components of the drone, including communication, navigation, gesture determination, and delivery components. The drone would also have one or more light sensors, a depth sensor, a visible light camera, infrared camera, auditory sensors, and depth aware cameras.
While the concept drone is impressive, it’s still only a patent and it’s still not clear if the drone will ever be produced. Amazon has also filed other patents that haven’t turned into products yet, including a self-destructing drone and a mirror that dresses you up in virtual outfits. The concept of a drone that can respond to human interaction isn’t new. Samsung has also patented a similar drone that’s able to detect the face and hand gestures of a person, and DJI’s Spark drone responds to the wave of a hand.