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Amazon provides a peek at delivery drone design

Image: Amazon drone design
A figure from Amazon’s patent application shows how a delivery drone’s rotors would be encased in a protective shroud. (Credit: Amazon via USPTO)

A newly published patent application almost literally delves into the nuts and bolts of the package-delivering drones that Amazon is developing – but it also makes clear that the look of the drones could vary, depending on where and how they’re being used.

The proposed designs include quadcopters and octocopters, drones with motors as wide as 18 inches that are mounted vertically to push the craft and its cargo through the air, and drones with fixed wings that extend well beyond the craft’s protective shroud.

That safety shroud is the common thread in all of the described designs.

The application was filed in December 2014 by Gur Kimchi and Rick Welsh, two of the lead engineers for Amazon Prime Air, but published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office only last week.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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