Innovation of the week
Amazon has secured a patent for a new delivery drone that can respond to human gestures, said Thuy Ong in TheVerge.com. The e-commerce giant is working on a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less, and its latest patent offers some clues about how the flying robots will be taught to interact with human bystanders and delivery customers. The patent suggests that the drone could adjust its behavior depending on a person’s gestures, including frantically waving arms, pointing, and even a “shooing” motion. The drone could also release the package it’s transporting, change its flight path or flying speed, and ask humans a question. The drone’s communication system would comprise an array of sensors, including for depth and sound, and cameras to detect infrared and ultraviolet light. Amazon is currently testing the drones in Britain.