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Amazon patents delivery drones that can react to people screaming and flailing

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 silversides    242

Amazon patents delivery drones that can react to people screaming and flailing

Amazon hopes someday to speedily deliver packages to customers by using aerial drones. (Amazon)

Amazon.com Inc. has been granted a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures.

The concept is part of Amazon's goal to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can send packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. Issued this week, the patent may help Amazon grapple with how flying robots might interact with human bystanders and customers waiting on their doorsteps.

Depending on a person's gestures — a welcoming thumbs-up, shouting or frantic arm waving — the drone can adjust its behavior, according to the patent. As described in the patent, the machine could release the package it's carrying, change its flight path to avoid crashing, ask humans a question or abort the delivery.

Among several illustrations in the design, a person is shown outside a home, flapping his arms in what Amazon describes as an "unwelcoming manner," to showcase an example of someone shooing away a drone flying overhead. A voice bubble comes out of the man's mouth, depicting possible voice commands to the incoming machine.

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http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-amazon-drone-patent-20180322-story.html

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