Amazon’s Newest Patent: “Virtual Safety Shroud” for Drones

Amazon‘s drone delivery project has resulted in the filing of dozens of patents.  We’ve seen concepts for drones hitching rides on vans, a “welcome mat” fashion touchdown pad, folding wing designs, and even flying warehouses.   A brand new patent utility, filed in February however revealed yesterday, describes a plan for defending individuals and objects from drone propellers: “Virtual Safety Shrouds.”

The utility, which lists Amazon’s drone supply guru Gur Kimchi as one of many three inventors, describes an thought for shutting down a propeller because it detects a close to collision – whereas revving up the remaining propellers with the intention to preserve the drone in flight.

“… When an approaching object is detected by an object detection component, a safety profile may be executed to reduce or avoid any potential harm to the object and/or the aerial vehicle,” says the summary.  “For example, if the object is detected entering a safety perimeter of the aerial vehicle, the rotation of a propeller closest to the object may be stopped to avoid harming the object and rotations of remaining propellers may be modified to maintain control and flight of the aerial vehicle.”

The system is designed to deal with issues that drone supply automobiles may collide with pets or kids, inflicting damage.  And in contrast to a few of the extra far-fetched concepts that a few of drone expertise patents suggest, this appears to make lots of sense.  Create a drone with redundancies in-built, after which sound an alarm and lower the facility to any propeller that appears about to collide with one thing.

“By eliminating or reducing harmful contacts between a propeller of an AAV and an object, AAVs may be operated in areas with unknown or changing surroundings without injuring the AAV or objects (e.g., humans, pets, or other animals),” reads the applying. “For example, an AAV may be configured to deliver a payload that contains an item ordered from an e-commerce website to a customer specified location (e.g., a backyard of customer’s home). As the AAV is preparing to land at the customer specified location to deliver the payload, it may monitor for objects (e.g., pets, humans) approaching the AAV and quickly respond to prevent the object from becoming harmed. For example, if a dog (object) approaches the AAV as the AAV is landing and the dog enters the safety perimeter of one of the propellers of the AAV, a safety profile is automatically performed so that the dog is not harmed by the propeller.”

“As discussed below, the safety profile may include stopping the propeller, stopping other propellers of the AAV, maneuvering the AAV away from the object, landing the AAV, emitting an audible tone, altering an orientation of the blades of the propeller, etc.”

Amazon drone deliveryIt’s simple to see this sort of expertise, if profitable in its implementation, being adopted throughout a broad vary of drone .  If so, it’s an argument that pursuing drone supply may have broader advantages for the trade – a extra highly effective instance than, maybe, the “drone birdhouse” docking stations atop streetlights proposed beforehand.


Miriam McNabb is the CEO of JobForDrones, an expert drone providers market, and a fascinated observer of the rising drone trade and the regulatory setting for drones. She writes for DRONELIFE on present information, monetary developments, and FAA laws. Miriam has a level from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of expertise in excessive tech gross sales and advertising for new applied sciences.
Email Miriam

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