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Will This Amazon Drone Self Destruct?

Amazon patents self-destructing drone that falls apart in an emergencyAmazon

Will This Amazon Drone Self Destruct In An Emergency?

Recent news reports indicate that Amazon has patented a self-destructing drone that falls apart in an emergency.

One of the big worries about delivery drones is what happens if something goes wrong mid-delivery? We don’t want people’s parcels (or the drones carrying them) falling from the sky, causing damage and injury. Well, Amazon thinks this might not actually be a bad idea — as long as the drones fall safely. Earlier this week, the company was granted a patent for the “direct fragmentation for unmanned airborne vehicles.” In other words: a drone that takes itself apart midair if something goes wrong.

Read More: The Czech Army To Expand UAV Capabilities

The patent describes how an onboard “fragmentation controller” would take charge in the event of a catastrophic failure, like a battery exploding or propellor failing. The computer would quickly study the drone’s flight path, weather conditions, and nearby terrain, before initiating a “fragmentation sequence,” where the drone slowly dismantles itself midair.

It sounds counter-intuitive as a safety protocol, but if a drone is going to crash anyway, it’s better that it hits the ground in small chunks, rather than as bigger, heavier intact aircraft. An illustration from the patent shows a drone dropping various components onto patches of empty ground and a small lake, before crashing itself safely in a tree.

An illustration from the patent shows a drone dismantling itself mid-air.
An illustration from the patent shows a drone dismantling itself mid-air.

The patent reads: “During the fragmentation sequence, one or more parts or components of the UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] can be released. In doing so, the weight, speed, air drag coefficient, and other factors related to the UAV can be altered.”  Continue reading about Amazon’s Seld-Destructing Drone.

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UAV Expert News press, curated UAV content from around the world to spread the good word about drones and UAV technology. Each article we curate is linked back to the original source and full credit is given to the author.

One thought on “Will This Amazon Drone Self Destruct?

  1. Hank Boschen

    Next we will have hackers initiating Self Destruct from the ground.

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