Online giant granted patent for parachute-dropping drone

Amazon has patented a freaky new system that adds a parachute to a shipping label.

It comes soon after another patent was granted in February, detailing how Amazon would release packages from delivery drones flying above our houses.

If you're into that sort of thing, the entire patent goes into more detail about the materials that could be used, how the parachute would fit into the label, and all kinds of other possibilities. The patent, as reported by GeekWire, was filed in August 2015 and granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in late May. The patent's abstract says that the system can include a self-adhesive backing, a "plurality of parachute cords" and a breakaway cover to land a package at a delivery spot without damaging it.

It describes how Amazon's drone could modify the force applied to the package once it is sent propelled to the ground - allowing the parcel to fall at the right destination.

The patent mentions that the shipping label, as well as the parachute system, can be adapted based on the delivery item's size and weight. It's also unclear when Amazon will launch drone delivery in the United States. The cords include a shock absorber that reduces the shock on a package when the parachute opens.

The patent adds: 'The parachute and/or the breakaway cover can include graphics to provide address, velocity or spin information for the package'.

The first Amazon Prime Air delivery was completed a year ago in the United Kingdom with a further Prime Air demonstration taking place in the U.S. in March.

We will need to wait to see if this patent transforms into a reality, as now, Amazon needs to traverse lots of testing procedures, and still needs to satisfy various aviation and regulatory authorities before packages start being dropped in people's gardens.

  • Arturo Norris