As some of its inventiveness and innovation move ever more into the realms of science fiction, it seems that this week Amazon has received a patent regarding a system that will make parachute delivery of your purchases a possibility. You can find the patent here.
The patent allows for a system “to enable the delivery of packages by [unpiloted] aerial vehicles (UAVs) or other aerial vehicles.” So, the drones will take to the air with the goods and then allow them to drift down to the ground. The parachute itself will be contained in a special packing label and, the packaging will contain homing devices and shock absorbers so you get the goods on your designated landing pad.
It’s easy to imagine how this could possibly work for small unbreakable items. But what about bigger consignments? Apparently, Amazon envisage a system of multiple parachutes for bigger, heavier items.
It seems that these delivery schemes are ever more meant for suburban and rural fulfilment. City locations can utilise existing same day networks but further afield, there is a need to get swifter means of delivery. Using a parachute to drop your goods to you from a drone is a neat idea if you have a suitable landing pad like a garden but it’s more difficult to reckon on how it could be used for people in higher density books, high-rises and, indeed, those who not only don’t have a garden but a secure outside space of any kind.
When the drones were first mooted I, for one, chuckled and considered it a PR stunt. But we know that they’ve been developing the technology in earnest, not least with development teams in Cambridge, UK. The first delivery by drone was made in the UK last year. But will it ever become a realistic and everyday proposition? Maybe.