Amazon Patents Accordion-Like Drone Delivery Chute

The chute would extend down from UAVs in order to more safely and effectively deliver packages.

Lisa Werner / Getty

Amazon has patented a method of delivering packages from drones to doorsteps in a hopefully safe and effective way, according to BizJournals. The Seattle-based company is planning on having accordion-like chutes extend from the bottom of their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through which the hypothetical packages could tumble down. That way, there's a safe distance between the motorized, rotor-having vehicle and Amazon's customers. In addition, this would allow the drone remain in the air as opposed to requiring a place to land and take off from. 

According to BizJournals, this chute would effectively dampen the drone's levels of noise pollution, as well. They claim that the quadcopters Amazon would use could implement four of these accordion-like chutes, further decreasing noise levels and even help maneuver through harsh weather conditions. The patent apparently claims that "If the (drone) is operating during high winds and/or in an area that includes many obstacles (e.g., trees) it may be beneficial to only extend the delivery shrouds that are closest to a portion of the delivery area where sound transmission is to be reduced."

Let's have a look at this potential delivery method in action, via successive illustrations explaining the process, included in Amazon's patent to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Amazon LLC / United States Patent and Trademark Office
Amazon LLC / United States Patent and Trademark Office
Amazon LLC / United States Patent and Trademark Office
Amazon LLC / United States Patent and Trademark Office
Amazon LLC / United States Patent and Trademark Office

This is yet another example of Amazon scaling their Everest—creating a complete 360-degree drone delivery system in which all possible scenarios and methods are thought through. We've recently reported on the company's fulfillment centers, which would have large bee-hive-like structures placed amidst major cities that would allow for drones to easily pick up and drop off packages without the need for outskirt warehouses and traditional truck delivery models. This recently evolved into a mobile version of the same idea, by which drone hubs would be placed on trains which could repair and chair UAVs as they return from nearby deliveries.