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.”


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.


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.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.