The future of drones has been a hotly contested topic throughout the whole of 2017, especially in regards to airspace safety and, of course, reliability.
And perhaps no other company is quite as keen as e-commerce behemoth Amazon to bring delivery drones into the mainstream. In fact, Amazon’s first plans for delivery drones were unveiled 4 years ago, and since then creative patents such as lamp post drone docking stations and flying mothership drone warehouse have appeared.
Amazon’s latest approved patent is further proof of Amazon’s need to prove just how safe their drones can be. According to the US Patent Office, Amazon’s latest design addresses what would happen in the event of a mid-air emergency. In addition to a flight controller, the drone will also have a fragmentation controller that would destruct the drone mid-air if necessary. The fragmentation controller would detect if something was wrong and would then determine a fragmentation sequence, which would indicate what parts of the drone should break off and release.
And while patents aren’t the best indicator of what could come to pass later on, it does reveal that Amazon has a lot of work to do if it is to convince the FAA and consumers that its drones are both functional and safe.