The online store powerhouse Amazon took to the skies with their drone programs. In the past few years, they have made it a priority to create delivery drones. These drones will then take your item and deliver it to your doorstep, all within hours – or minutes – after purchasing. Amazon hopes to be the first to fully utilize drones in their services.
Different companies filed patents for in-house drone workers. These include Walmart, a very popular shopping chain in the United States. Even more opted on delivery drones, such as the pizza place Domino’s. A number of companies worldwide want to have this distinction of being a pioneer in drone technology. The race is on.
But with Amazon’s grand drone scheme came some hiccups along the way. A recent patent filed by the company offered a quick view on their progress. They recently filed (and were granted) a potential solution to drone hijack situations.
Amazon’s Hijacking Protection Patent:
While this may seem like something you may see at a battlefield, it may be something that Amazon fears. Hijacked drones would deal a ton of damage to their delivery programs. Third parties who can hijack delivery drones not only get the drone itself, but the package contents as well. This would be a double-whammy, dealing losses on both the package and its carrier. It will also leave the impression that these transport drones are unreliable. Delays due to hijacking attempts would create a longer delivery period.
Currently, package thieves are already a problem. They go through, door to door, and take packages that are unattended. With drones, the profit would be a lot larger for these hooligans.
Although it is still unclear to the common folk about the specifics of Amazon’s plan, they did mention a small description. They wanted a way to send a “heartbeat” signal between the drone and the controller. With this, they can ensure that the connection between the two is solid and unaltered. The heartbeat signal will go back and forth in a regular basis every few seconds. Any change or delay in this heartbeat would show that the drone may have been tampered with.
If there is a delay or problem, and if it is assessed that a hijacking is about to take place, the drone can take action. A preprogrammed setting, roughly called safety mode would be prioritized over the default setting, the mission mode. The safety mode would try various options to get back control. These include overriding previous commands or landing at a safe and predetermined location. The staff, ensuring that it does not land at the hands of the hackers, can then pick up the drone.