Amazon Patents Drone Self-Destruction System



Amazon has been granted a patent on self-destructing drones. Or, if you want to use the more technical term, "directed fragmentation of an unmanned aerial vehicle."


Spotted by The Verge, the patent describes what could happen if an Amazon package drone were to fail mid-delivery. Drones can fail for any number of reasons: battery failure, hitting a bird, or even getting shot down. If Amazon drone delivery wants to get off the ground, its drones will need plenty of fail-safes to win the several levels of governmental approval, from federal to city.


"When loss of flight operation is detected, the UAV can enter a fragmentation sequence mode," the patent, invented by Amazon employees Dushyant Goyal and Pragyana K. Mishra, reads. "During the fragmentation sequence, one or more parts or components of the UAV can be released. In doing so, the weight, speed, air drag coefficient, and other factors related to the UAV can be altered. At the same time, the momentum and trajectory of the UAV are also altered."

Amazon's made no secret of its desires to make drone delivery a real thing, it had its first successful U.S delivery  earlier this year. By having drones break up mid-flight, the company is hoping the impact of such a worst-case scenario would be lessened. Computers would quickly evaluate the drone's situation and attempt to crash-land its parts wherever they would do the least damage to people. Having a drone part land in a tree or a lake is better than the entire drone falling on a street.


Of course, there's always a chance that Amazon may never use this idea at all. The Seattle-based company has a history of eye-popping patents, ranging from blimp warehouses to drones that can power your electric car on the road. Never a company considered short on ambition, Amazon is trying to figure out everything that could go wrong before it starts pushing governments on approval




The Verge发现,该专利描述了如果亚马逊包裹无人机未完成交货会发生什么情况。无人机可能会因为多种原因而无法完成交付:电池故障、撞到了一只鸟、甚至是被击落。如果亚马逊的快递无人机想要起飞,它的无人机将需要大量的故障保险,从而赢得从联邦到城市的多个级别的政府批准。

发明这项专利的亚马逊员工Dushyant GoyalPragyana K. Mishra说:“当检测到飞行操作失败时,无人机可以进入碎裂程序模式。在碎裂过程中,无人机可以解绑一个或多个零部件,这样就可以改变无人机的重量、速度、空气阻力等与其相关的因素,同时无人机的冲量和轨迹也被改变了。”



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