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Amazon patent shows small robotic vehicles delivery packages from the van to doorsteps

Amazon may soon employ a little robotic helper to assist with delivering packages from vans to a customer’s drop-off destination.

The firm was awarded a patent earlier this month entitled, ‘Directing secondary delivery vehicles using primary delivery vehicles,’ which describes its delivery van bringing packages to a customer’s drop-off  destination and a smaller vehicle carrying it the rest of the way.  

The van, or primary vehicle, would feature new technology that creates the best path for a small autonomous vehicle, which is then programmed with instructions to travel from the cargo area of the truck to the customer’s doorstep.

The secondary vehicle would also be equipped with cameras and navigational gear, such as sensors and accelerometers, allowing it to send images and data back to the primary vehicle during its journey.

 

Amazon filed the patent on July 8, 2021, with patent images that show the delivery van traveling to its destinations with packages and the secondary vehicle stowed away in the cargo area

Amazon filed the patent on January 6, 2020, with patent images that show the delivery van traveling to its destinations with packages and the secondary vehicle stowed away in the cargo area. 

Once the pair arrives at the destination, the primary vehicle uses its cameras or other sensors to transmit instructions to the secondary vehicles before it embarks on the decided route.

‘The secondary vehicle departs from the primary vehicle on the selected course and at the selected speed, e.g., by causing one or more motors to rotate wheels at the selected speeds, and by causing a steering system to place the secondary vehicle on the selected course,’ reads the patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

‘The secondary vehicle captures data regarding conditions of the surroundings in which the secondary vehicle travels. 

Once the pair arrives at the destination, the primary vehicle uses its cameras or other sensors to transmit instructions to the secondary vehicles before it embarks on the decided route

Once the pair arrives at the destination, the primary vehicle uses its cameras or other sensors to transmit instructions to the secondary vehicles before it embarks on the decided route

While the smaller vehicle takes the path, the primage vehicle monitors its companion's position and orientation, allowing it to detect obstacles that may appear along the route

While the smaller vehicle takes the path, the primage vehicle monitors its companion’s position and orientation, allowing it to detect obstacles that may appear along the route

‘For example, the secondary vehicle sensor may be a digital camera, a position sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a compass, an inclinometer, a ranging sensor, or an acoustic sensor, or any other sensors, such as two or more of such sensors, and the data may be digital images, reflections of radar or sonar emissions, LIDAR data, RFID data, or any other data.’

While the smaller vehicle takes the path, the primage vehicle monitors its companion’s position and orientation, allowing it to detect obstacles that may appear along the route.

Once the package is released to the customer’s drop-off destination, the primary vehicle would then program the secondary vehicle with instructions to return or head to another drop-off location that is near its own location.

DailyMail.com has contacted Amazon for more information. 

An Amazon spokesperson told FreightWaves:’Like many companies, we file a number of forward-looking patent applications that explore the full possibilities of new technology. 

Amazon has long believed robots are the way to deliver packages and even conducted a trial of automated delivery robots throughout the streets of southern California in 2019. The four-wheeled robots, called Scout (pictured), were sent out to deliver packages to customers on weekdays in the area

Amazon has long believed robots are the way to deliver packages and even conducted a trial of automated delivery robots throughout the streets of southern California in 2019. The four-wheeled robots, called Scout (pictured), were sent out to deliver packages to customers on weekdays in the area

‘Patents take multiple years to receive and do not necessarily reflect current developments to products and services.’  

Amazon has long believed robots are the way to deliver packages and even conducted a trial of automated delivery robots throughout the streets of southern California in 2019.

The four-wheeled robots, called Scout, were sent out to deliver packages to customers on weekdays in the area.

During the trial, the devices safely and autonomously navigated the many obstacles you find in residential neighborhoods, including trashcans, skateboards, lawn chairs and more.

Scout is currently being tested in four US locations in Georgia, Tennessee, California and Washington state.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk