Amazon has been granted a US patent for gesture-controlled drones, as the e-commerce giant looks to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles for deliveries within 30 minutes.
Issued earlier this week, Amazon’s new USPTO patent describes a drone which responds to gestures – e.g. a thumbs up or waving arms.
Behavioural actions may cause the drone to releases its package, or change direction.
As reported by The Washington Post, a person waving their arms in an “unwelcoming manner” will cause Amazon’s drones to move away.
“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”, states the patent.
According to the patent, Amazon’s drones will analyse a human’s behaviour and respond accordingly – e.g. “Receive Human Gesture”, “Determine Human Gesture Based On Gesture Database”, Access Gesture Database”, “Proceed In Accordance With Determined Human Gesture And Delivery Instructions”.
The drones incorporate several sensors to detect infrared and ultraviolet light.
The patent describes an unmanned aerial vehicle which can drop packages from the air, or land and deliver.
Back in 2016, Amazon made its first autonomous drone delivery in the UK. Amazon’s British trials for select private drone deliveries is reportedly still in progress.
The news comes as US-based Walmart applies for patents concerning drone ‘shopping assistants’ and smart shopping carts.
Japan’s construction industry will also soon receive DJI’s largest order of commercial drones.