Amazon patents drone capable of reacting to human gestures

That Amazon is pursuing drones as a legitimate option to perform short-distance deliveries is no secret. The company started by making the first ever drone-based delivery in England in 2016 in addition to rather fantastical patent filings such as a flying warehouse and self-destructing delivery drones.

Amazon fully intends to keep up the pace - it has filed for a new patent for a drone that is capable of responding to human gestures, both audible and otherwise, all autonomously. This isn't exactly completely new; Amazon had filed a similar patent in 2014, and this appears to be a new take on the same idea.

The company has, in very descriptive images, shown the course of action that a drone making a delivery might take when it is close to making a delivery and needs an affirmative response from the potential recipient.

Its inventor is listed as a Frederik Schaffalitzky, and a cursory look at his LinkedIn profile suggests that he was a principal research scientist at Amazon for two years, before moving on to Apple in early 2016.

As amusing as the illustrations in the patent may be, it's also an indicator of a possible future where there may be a need to interact in public with robots. And much like it was once weird to talk into the telephones when they was first invented, this too will probably be something we adjust to until it becomes something we take for granted in the foreseeable future.

That aside, this is still only a patent. Many companies make patent filings for tech that may never even enter production, so as always, it's best to take this with a pinch of salt.

Source: USPTO via GeekWire

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