Months after Amazon filed a patent in India for drone technology with respect to propeller safety, the ecommerce giant has filed another patent application in India 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, reports Business Standard.
These can also be used to identify aircrafts and other objects flying in the Indian skies, as per the patent application.
Fiducials are features that can be optically recognizable and are used on computer vision applications. Fiducial marks are usually located in the corners or edge-centers, or both, of an aerial photographic image. As per the Business Standard report, some of the common types of fiducials are grids of black and white blocks of fixed size, generated randomly.
With the patent, Amazon will be able to use them for localisation, tracking and detecting orientation of objects, identifying the target. Another innovation could be to be able to identify other drones and UAVs.
As per a report in First Post, these fiducial markers for Amazonâ€™s drones are relevant because with Amazon looking at drone delivery service for its deliveries, there are specific locations and landing points where the delivery has to happen.
These landing points are marked with black and white grids â€“ also called fiducials -- for the drone to identify where to land. They are present at the customerâ€™s location where the delivery has to be made.
Amazonâ€™s demonstration of Amazon Prime Air, its drone delivery service, on its website demonstrates drone technology for safe delivery of packages to customers within 30 minutes.
The video shows how a Prime Air Drone delivers a package at a specific landing point that is marked with white and black blocks.
As mentioned earlier, this is the second patent Amazon is filing. Earlier this year, Amazon Technologies filed a patent for a technology to ensure quick response from the droneâ€™s propellers when an object such as a human or animal is detected to avoid it hitting any object while delivering.
"For example, an AAV may be configured to deliver a payload that contains an item ordered from an e-commerce website to a custome- specified location (e.g a backyard of a home). As the AAV is preparing to land at the location, it may monitor for objects (pets, humans) approaching the AAV and quickly respond to prevent the object from becoming harmed," the Hindu quotes patent application as stating.
The filing of these patents only indicates Amazonâ€™s interest in deploying such technology in India. It, however, does not guarantee that approval may be received for these innovations.
As Amazon looks to expand its Amazon Prime Air service, it is working on gathering more data to improve the safety and reliability of drone operations.