American Shipper

Amazon patents parachute package labels for drone deliveries

The e-commerce giant has received a patent for shipping labels that double as parachutes and are intended to enable safe landings for drone and other aircraft deliveries.

   Amazon Technologies, Inc. has received a patent for a shipping label with a built-in parachute to ensure packages land softly when dropped off by drone or other aircraft for deliveries.
   The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent on May 30, along with pictures and drawings that demonstrate how the parachute will deploy from the label with a system of strings and harness to attach to the drone for delivery.
   The parachute label can be removed if the delivery method changes, as indicated in the patent drawings. The parachute itself can range in size and shape and may be composed of “a suitably light, strong material such as, for example, paper, plastic, canvas, silk, nylon, Kevlar, polyester or  combinations thereof,” according to the patent description.
   The patent was first filed in August 2015 by creator Jon Hanlon, senior technical program manager for Amazon’s Prime Air division.
   Amazon has been working towards unmanned aircraft deliveries for years, and detailed plans to deploy delivery drones at a NASA conference in August 2015.