Amazon.com Inc. has applied for a patent on technology to deliver items inside your home using a robotic courier.
An Amazon patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes an “autonomous ground vehicle” that could ferry orders between a delivery truck and a home’s front porch or hallway.
“AGVs may be stationed at various types of locations (e.g., inside or outside of user residences, common areas, etc.) and may travel out (e.g., to a street) to meet a transportation vehicle (e.g., a delivery truck) that is carrying items,” the filing states.
The robotic courier could be equipped with technology to open doors, gates or garage doors, allowing customers to receive orders when they aren’t home or asleep.
The patent’s inventors are listed as Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist Tye Brady and Senior Vice President of Twitch Commerce and Developer SuccessEthan Evans.
The technology follow’s Amazon’s efforts to offer more convenient delivery options and thwart porch pirates. The Seattle-based internet retailer launched Amazon Key in November to tackle the security problem, allowing vetted delivery drivers to drop off packages inside a customer’s home when they’re not there.
Using the Amazon Key app, customers can track their delivery with real-time notifications, watch the delivery happen live or review a video of the delivery after it’s complete.
Later that month, Amazon applied for patent for driverless delivery vehicles resembling Amazon Lockers. While checking out online, shoppers could specify how far they’re willing to travel to the roving pick-up stations.
Source: Biz Journals, “Amazon’s trying to patent robotic couriers to deliver products inside your home“. (https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2018/01/25/amazon-patent-robot-courier-package-delivery-homes.html). Casey Coombs, January 25, 2018.
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