Amazon just received a patent for hijack-proof delivery drones.
The company filed a patent titled “Hostile takeover avoidance of unmanned vehicles” two years ago, and it was finally approved last week. The patent is specifically designed for delivery vehicles, and its aimed at preventing “nefarious individuals” from taking over the company’s drones.
Although there’s no guarantee that this patented technology will ever see the light of day, it’s still considered a major development — especially for an e-commerce giant like Amazon — since it could revolutionize the company’s delivery capabilities.
Amazon discussed the possibility of having drones deliver people’s goods within an hour, so this is one step closer to that goal. The company’s other drone-related patents include self-destruction when a failure is detected and drones that can respond to gestures and voice commands.
Glen C. Larsen, the Amazon hardware and systems architect who invented the hijack-proof patent, has previously also filed a patent for creating more secure signatures by using holograms. Larsen has mainly patented keyboard-related technologies, so this invention is a first for him.
“As the use of [unmanned aerial vehicles] continues to increase, so does the likelihood of hostility towards UAVs. Such hostility may come in the form of attacks brought for any number of purposes (e.g., steal the UAVs and their payloads, crash the UAVs, and otherwise cause disruption to the operation of the UAVs),” says the patent.
The 19-page document then continues to describe how these fortified drones would be constructed, and it seems solid for Amazon’s drone delivery vision. But the bold claims and goals asserted in the document seem more like a gauntlet thrown to challenge-seeking hackers and “nefarious individuals” alike than an end-all-be-all delivery unicorn.