Amazon Files Patent For Parachuting Packages From Drones

Image courtesy of USPTO

Now that Amazon’s Prime Air delivery drones have made their first dropoff, it seems the e-commerce giant wants to make the process even more efficient: Instead of unmanned aerial vehicles landing to set a package on the ground, Amazon has cooked up an idea for fly-by deliveries.

Amazon wrote in a patent filing published Tuesday that this system could “forcefully propel a package from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), while the UAV is in motion.”

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Among the ideas for how this would be accomplished: parachutes (which is our personal favorite because how fun would that be?); electromagnets, and spring coils.

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Requiring drones to take the time to land isn’t an efficient use of time or energy, Amazon says in the filing, which negates “at least a portion of the benefit of adopting a network system of UAVs.”

If Amazon does decide to adopt this idea or something like it, it’s likely that only certain kinds of packages would be dropped. A package filled with delicate dishes, for example, would not be served well with an abrupt landing, parachute or no.