How Can Amazon Patent A Voice-Controlled Drone?

A voice-controlled drone - that's what we need, says Amazon. And in a patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, they detail one.


(Patent for Amazon drone which accepts voice commands)

The patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says Amazon’s technologies are supposed to enable miniature drones that are “smaller, lighter, and less expensive than conventional UAVs.”

Amazon has no small ambitions for these UAVs. The company says in the patent filing that these itty-bitty drones could be used to support police during traffic stops; to help find a kid in a crowd; or to clear tunnels during a military maneuver. All of these activities would be enabled with a combination of advanced voice controls and more direct remote controls provided by a companion app for smartphones and tablets.

I don't understand why a search for prior art didn't bring up City of Pearl, a 2004 novel by Karen Traviss. She clearly describes this device:

He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.

"Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me," he told it. He checked the shot on his handheld screen and moved a few meters to the right. That was better.
(Read more about Karen Traviss' bee cam)

Via Inverse.

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