According to a press release, the drone-delivery patent “describes a combination of hardware and software that enables the delivery of packages by a drone, potentially lifting the package to pick it up, holding it securely and lowering it once at the point of delivery.”
Using the new process, a drone lowers a tether while suspended in midair to gently deliver a parcel:
“The granted patent covers fundamental technology at the core of the drone delivery industry, key to reliable and effective delivery and/or pickup of packages by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), while the UAV remains in hover. Flirtey’s new patent describes a drone with a suspension mechanism, used to hold a package that is to be delivered or picked up, a locking mechanism to hold and release the package, and a package delivery mechanism to deliver the package.”
“We are thrilled that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Flirtey another patent that is fundamental to safe and precise drone delivery. This is not pie in the sky; this is the foundation of safe delivery and/or pickup of packages from the sky,” said Matthew Sweeny, Flirtey Founder and CEO. “Flirtey’s drone delivery technology is now an industry standard in America.”
The company now holds more than 25 patents, including one granted earlier this year that “enhances its intellectual technology with an additional component to safety while a drone is in flight and when it is delivering a package.” The drone-delivery patent recognizes the ability of a drone’s technology to detect an error in operation while the drone is in flight, ultimately deploying a safety mechanism, if necessary.
Last year, Flirtey launched a new delivery drone, the Flirtey Eagle, as well as Flirtey Portal, a take-off and landing platform designed to enable scalable store-to-door operations. The company operates in Reno, Nevada as part of the FAA’s Drone Integration Pilot Program.