Wednesday 15 February 2017 11:49 am

Amazon's delivery drones could one day be dropping packages by parachute

Amazon has filed another very interesting patent.

At the end of last year, it was revealed Amazon had filed a patent for a flying airship warehouse designed to speed up drone deliveries. As you do.

And now the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted the e-commerce giant a patent for a new way to deliver packages via drone… by parachute.

The patent described how a package could correct its descent via a drone
The patent described how a package could correct its descent via a drone (Source: US Patent and Trademark Office)

Drones will deploy packages "at altitude" and "monitor and adjust package trajectory during descent". So the drone will hover nearby like a guardian angel for your package to make sure should a strong gust of wind or rogue bird send the package off course, the drone can instruct it to use a range of methods to get back on track.

That includes deploying a parachute, compressed air canister or landing flap.

Read more: This patent is a major hint Amazon's entering the self-driving vehicle race

Depending on the system, the package could be ejected from as low as 10 feet, or as high as 500 feet. So, watch out below…

It's just the latest development in the firm's work on its drone delivery system, Prime Air.

It has been testing across the US, Austria and Israel, while over in Cambridgeshire in the UK, Amazon recorded its first fully automated drone with no human input delivering a package in December.

It took 13 minutes from depot to door.

Read more: Amazon wants to create huge airship warehouses to speed up drone deliveries

The trials will continue as it works to improve the service in terms of safety and reliability, but eventually the retailer hopes to roll out the delivery drone as an option for all customers.

And at the moment, the drones can only carry up to five pounds of weight – in the trial an Amazon Fire and a bag of popcorn were delivered.