The landing gear could also have a “barbed spike” that could screw into the surface for extra stability. Or it could also have a magnet to land on metal surfaces or a “vacuum suction cup”.
Amazon outlined that the drone could be made from lightweight materials such as graphite, aluminum or carbon fiber. The top part of the drone would have the ability to rotate which would allow the flying machine to position itself in the correct place in account for environmental conditions like wind.
“Specifically, the UAV may be re-oriented while it is landed by rotating the support coupling so that the body of the UAV rotates while the landing gear assembly remains stationary,” Amazon’s patent said.
In the second patent, the U.S. e-commerce titan laid out its ideas for robotic propellers that could help the drone face less resistance in the air. The patent outlines adjustable winglets on the propeller, much like those found on airplanes, which will help the drone counter the drag created by pressure in the air as it flies.
They will be adjustable and react to environment conditions.
“The propellers may be reconfigured at predetermined times during operation of an aerial vehicle, or upon sensing one or more operational characteristics or environmental conditions, as may be desired or required,” Amazon’s second patent said.
The patents were both granted on Tuesday after initially being filed in 2015 and were first spotted by tech site GeekWire. Amazon is an aggressive filer of patents and being awarded one does not mean that the idea will necessarily see the light of day.
Still, it highlights how the company is thinking about drone delivery, which it is currently testing in the U.K. A recent Amazon patent described a giant flying warehouse that would act as a launchpad for drones, while another one outlined an idea for an unmanned flying vehicle to propel packages that it was carrying which would eventually land in a back yard with the help of a parachute.