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Amazon envisions delivery drones that self-destruct in emergencies

They're still working on the details of delivering packages with drones.
Swapna Krishna, @skrishna
December 1, 2017
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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

It's been years now since Amazon revealed its plan to begin using drones for delivery, and the company has slowly been improving and refining the idea ever since. Now, Amazon has been granted a patent on tech that would allow its drones to self-destruct in the event of an emergency.

The patent is specifically for "directed fragmentation of unmanned airborne vehicles," or in other words, controlled destruction of drones. The flight controllers can analyze such factors as the drone's flight path, current conditions and the ground it's flying over in order to determine the best way to destroy it in any given situation. If they detect a disruption in its operation, the drone can safely break into multiple pieces and avoid injuring anyone or damaging property.

This comes after Amazon filed a patent earlier this year to complete deliveries by parachuting packages from the sky. The parachutes might even be embedded within the shipping labels. The idea of drone deliveries might sound wild, but the company is clearly invested in trying to make them work under different conditions.

In this article: amazon, drones, robots, tomorrow
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