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Amazon could start delivering packages by parachute

By Andrew V. Pestano
Amazon could soon drop packages with the help of parachutes from a hovering drone unto consumers' back yards after it was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on a package delivery system. File Photo by Amazon/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/013641e880c67a1d7187a6895884ba1c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Amazon could soon drop packages with the help of parachutes from a hovering drone unto consumers' back yards after it was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on a package delivery system. File Photo by Amazon/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Amazon a patent for technology that would allow the company to drop packages from drones into consumers' back yards via parachutes and electromagnets.

The package delivery system would use a drone equipped with sensors and a camera that would hover near its intended target. The drone would "forcefully" propel the package in the hopes it would land in the target area, but the drone could trigger a parachute or other stabilizing mechanisms to help the package reach its destination.

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"The package delivery system can apply the force onto the package in a number of different ways. For example, pneumatic actuators, electromagnets, spring coils, and parachutes can generate the force that establishes the vertical descent path of the package," the patent filing said.

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Several parachutes could be deployed in different orders to change the descent of the package, Amazon said in the filing.

"An ability to cause a package to descend through a vertical trajectory ... Can be advantageous when attempting a delivery in an area with limited open space, such as an alley or a fenced back yard," the filing said.

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