Global ecommerce player Amazon is certain on firming its ground in Indian subcontinent as just after months of filing a patent in India for drone technology with respect to propeller safety, the American company has now filed papers for another patent application in India.
This time Amazon has filed patent for exclusive rights on multi-scale fiducials, black and white marks on any object for the unmanned aerial vehicles to identify them from different distances, according to a media report.
As per the patent application, the aerial vehicles would also be capable of identifying aircrafts and other objects flying in the Indian skies.
For the uninitiated, fiducials are features that can be optically recognisable. They are usually used on computer vision applications. Generally, they can be found in corners or edge-centers, or both, of an aerial photographic image. Some of the common types of fiducials are grids of black and white blocks of fixed size, which are generated randomly.
If the patent comes through, the America ecommerce biggie will be able to use the drones for localisation, tracking and detecting orientation of objects, identifying the target. Another usage could be identifying other drones and UAVs.
Amazon first announced its plans of using drones for delivering packages in 2013, in a special telecast of US TV show 60 Minutes. While unveiling his company’s plan, Bezos revealed that the company would start delivering in 2018. At that time, the tech experts considered the time target to be “hugely optimistic” as there were a number of concerns like safety, theft and liability that needed to be still worked out.
However, if the latest limited trials are taken into consideration, Amazon might still be able to achieve that target.
In a video posted by the company on its website, Amazon showcased the use of drones for the safe delivery of packages to its customers. The video showed the drone delivering the package at a specific landing marked with grids of black and white blocks, fixed at the customer premises. Amazon Prime Air is a delivery system designed to deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes or earlier using unmanned aerial vehicles.
Prior to this patent, Amazon Technologies had filed another patent application in India for seeking approval for a technology that would ensure a quick response from the propellers of a drone, in case it detects an object on its way.
In 2015, Indian homegrown ecommerce company Flipkart expressed its interest in using drones to deliver goods to rural areas. However, there’s no update on the progress of the project yet.
While patent application doesn’t guarantee Amazon an approval, but it does show the firm’s interest in introducing such technology in India.