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Amazon files patent for drones that understand human gestures

Amazon.com Inc. on March 20 filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an unmanned aerial delivery vehicle that can react to human gestures.

The device will be able to detect human voice, a wave of the arm or hand and other body gestures using sensors. These signals will help instruct the drone to move according to the delivery plan, such as delivering a package to a location associated with a customer's profile.

Amazon, which recently backed the move to develop a privately funded and operated air-traffic control network for drones, said the machine will record gestures and transmit them to a database to help other drones process a particular gesture in future deliveries.

The e-commerce giant made its first delivery by drone in December 2016 in the U.K.

Amazon's latest patent application comes two months after it submitted a patent for autonomous ground vehicles that can transport parcels inside or outside recipients' houses.