For safety reasons, what does Amazon want its delivery drones to do if they fall from the sky?

Answer: Self-destruct.

by / December 1, 2017

Believe it or not, this isn’t even the craziest-sounding thing that Amazon has come up with regarding unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designs. From mothership blimps to police shoulder drones, the patents on UAV designs from Amazon just keep coming. Its latest idea: delivery drones that self-destruct if they fall from the sky (insert “Chicken Little” joke here).

The idea is to equip the drone with flight controllers that will analyze its fall trajectory. The drone will then self-dismantle mid-air by explosion, calculated based on flight conditions, terrain and other factors. This “direct fragmentation for unmanned vehicles” would ensure that the drone hits the ground (or people) in small pieces that would be much less harmful, if at all, than the whole thing.

The patent doesn’t address what will happen to the package the drone is carrying in this event — perhaps Amazon’s earlier parachute idea would be useful in this case.



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