Amazon patent shows van-to-door delivery packages of small robotic vehicles

Amazon may soon hire a small robotic helper to help deliver packages from vans to a customer’s drop-off destination.

Earlier this month, the company was granted a patent titled ‘Control secondary delivery vehicles with primary delivery vehicles,’ describing the van that delivers packages to a customer’s drop-off destination and a smaller vehicle that carries it the rest of the way.

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

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

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Amazon filed the patent on July 8, 2021, with patent images showing how the van travels with packages to its destination and the secondary vehicle stowed in the cargo hold

Amazon filed the patent on January 6, 2020, with patent images showing the van traveling with packages to its destination and the secondary vehicle stowed in the cargo hold.

Once the pair arrive at the destination, the primary vehicle uses its cameras or other sensors to send instructions to the secondary vehicles before starting on the established route.

‘The secondary vehicle departs from the primary vehicle on the selected course and speed, for example by spinning one or more motors at the selected speeds, and by having a steering system position the secondary vehicle on the selected course’, reads the patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

‘The secondary vehicle records data about the conditions of the environment in which the secondary vehicle is driving.

Once the pair has arrived at the destination, the primary vehicle uses its cameras or other sensors to send instructions to the secondary vehicles before starting on the established route

Once the pair has arrived at the destination, the primary vehicle uses its cameras or other sensors to send instructions to the secondary vehicles before starting on the established route

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

As the smaller vehicle follows 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 distance sensor or an acoustic sensor, or other sensors, such as two or more such sensors, and the data may be digital images, reflections from radar or sonar emissions, LIDAR data, RFID data or other data.’

As the smaller vehicle follows 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 programs the secondary vehicle with instructions to return or move to another drop-off location near its own location.

DailyMail.com has contacted Amazon for more information.

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

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

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

“Patents take several years to receive and do not necessarily reflect current developments in products and services.”

Amazon has long believed that robots are the way to deliver packages, and in 2019 even ran a trial of automated delivery robots on the streets of Southern California.

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

During the trial, the devices navigated safely and autonomously through the many obstacles found in residential areas, including trash cans, skateboards, lawn chairs and more.

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

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