One of my favorite things about technology is the cross-over between industry and uses. Amazon’s latest patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,812,021, offers such intrigue. The patent is directed to Amazon’s quest to corner the market on drone delivery. The obviously know what they are doing in the consumer market. After all, look at what Amazon did with its 1-click patent.
The ‘021 Patent, titled “Object avoidance for automated aerial vehicles,” is directed to an automated aerial vehicle with one or more object detection elements to detect the presence of objects. The vehicle also has an avoidance determining element configured to cause the automated aerial vehicle to automatically determine and execute an avoidance maneuver to avoid the objects. For example, an object may be detected and an avoidance maneuver determined based on a position of the object and an object vector representative of a direction and a magnitude of velocity of the object.
Claim 1 reads:
An object avoidance system of an automated aerial vehicle, comprising: an object detection element coupled to the automated aerial vehicle and configured to detect a presence of an object within a defined distance of the automated aerial vehicle; an avoidance determining element coupled to the automated aerial vehicle and configured to determine an avoidance maneuver, wherein the avoidance maneuver is determined based at least in part on an object vector representative of a distance and a direction of the object, and a defensive direction that is different than the direction of the object vector, wherein an avoidance vector is representative of the avoidance maneuver and a magnitude of the avoidance vector is greater than a magnitude of a velocity of the object with respect to the automated aerial vehicle; and a navigation component for automatically performing the avoidance maneuver.
What do you think? Is Amazon going to corner the market? Or are there enough engineering solutions that everyone will be able to play?