16 Jan
Amazon Seeks to Protect Drones with New Patent Amazon Seeks to Protect Drones with New Patent

Amazon Seeks to Protect Drones with New Patent

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During one episode on TV's "Parks and Recreation," Ron Swanson, the famous Luddite character, used a hunting rifle to shoot down a drone. While obviously mining the potential for humor of drones encroaching too uncomfortably on our personal spaces, Swanson's act was more than mere dramatic license: In 2015, a man in Kentucky escaped criminal punishment for shooting down a drone because, he told NBC News"I was being watched. It was an invasion of privacy and I just, I wouldn't have put up with it no more." 

A year earlier, over 25% of the residents of one Colorado town voted to issue drone hunting licenses.

So it comes as no surprise that Amazon, which has long promoted the idea of using drones to deliver some of its many packages, might think about taking precautions concerning its airborne fleet.

And, as Salon recently reported, the online shopping giant appears ready to do just that. The company is endow its Amazon Prime Delivery drones with the capability to pick up on and evade offensive tactics. The robotic devices also possess the option to notify local authorities if anyone has discharged a weapon in their vicinity.

Amazon has even applied for a patent for its drone defense system, noting, “The UAV [uncrewed autonomous vehicle] may be exposed to various threats that may compromise the UAV. An adversarial person may use a weapon to inflict damage to the UAV.”

Given that experts predict that drones will be regularly spotted in American skies by 2020, the issue of how to keep them safe from attack will undoubtedly press regulators to establish protocols for dealing with attacks to drones as well as for acceptable forms of defense.

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Read 4438 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 15:14
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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