How does it sound to have a package “forcefully [propelled]” onto your porch from a hovering drone?
That’s the idea behind the new Amazon system that was awarded a patent this week. Instead of having the package delivery drone land in your yard, this system would eject the package from the flying drone, which could use “pneumatic actuators, electromagnets, spring coils, and parachutes [to] generate the force that establishes the vertical descent path of the package,” according to the patent filing published Tuesday.
Amazon (AMZN) claims this would save time and energy compared to having the drones land and take off again each time they deliver a parcel.
The drone could also help control the trajectory of the package to make sure it lands on target and not, say, in a tree. “The package can be equipped with one or more control surfaces,” the patent filing reads. “Instructions can be transmitted from the UAV via an RF module that cause the one or more controls surfaces to alter the vertical descent path of the package to avoid obstructions or to regain a stable orientation.”
Amazon has been testing drone deliveries already in the U.K., CNBC reports, and continues to apply for patents as it tests out the system.