Amazon’s Delivery Drone Can Understand Human Gestures

Amazon's Drone
An illustration accompanying the patent filed by Amazon.
Amazon's Drone
An illustration accompanying the patent filed by Amazon.

Amazon files a patent for a drone that can understand when you wave at it.

This may be one of the coolest or funniest patent filed by Amazon, depending on how you look at it.

The concept drone is designed to recognize and respond to human gestures. The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent earlier this week for this unmanned aerial vehicle with human interactions. The patent was initially filed in July 2016.

In an accompanying image, an illustration shows a house, a drone and a person with an empty speech bubble. We’re assuming you get to insert whatever command you can give to the drone.

Amazon states in the filing that human gestures may include “visible gestures, audible gestures, and other gestures capable of recognition by the unmanned vehicle.” The delivery drone would also have a depth and auditory sensors, light sensors, visible light camera and depth aware cameras.

Basically, a drone will fly to delivery location. If it “comes upon a human”, he or she can “communicate with the vehicle using human gestures to aid the vehicle along its path to the delivery location.”

The drone is supposed to interpret whether the person’s gestures mean for it to proceed with the delivery or not. The patent adds that “The identity of the human recipient may be verified in some manner prior to delivery of the package. ”

It’s important to remember that this is only a patent for a concept drone. It is never a guarantee that Amazon will proceed to turn this into an actual product. Over the years, Amazon (and most big companies) have filed for patents that never really came into fruition. An example of this is another concept drone that self-destructs.

If and when it does become an actual product, it would definitely be an interesting one, wouldn’t it?