Amazon patents new design which could mean drones can be hailed like cabs

The design submitted to the US Patent Office Credit: US Patent Office

We're used to hailing a cab or a bus - soon we could be gesturing for delivery drones.

Under a new patent granted by the US Patent office, Amazon has been granted a design for a new drone which recognises gestures like waving. It would also understand audible cues like shouts and whistles.

Scientists in Cambridge have already played a leading role in developing these new technologies.

Last year ITV News Anglia reported how engineers in the city had created the first-ever drone that tracks your movements and winches down packages to directly into your hands.

The patented invention by Cambridge Consultants is a "proof of concept" for a vision of the future where emergency first aid and supplies can be delivered on demand in minutes.

In 2016 Amazon carried out the world's first delivery using drone in the county. It has also patented a move to deliver parcels by parachute.

Since then the company has announced it is expanding its research division in Cambridge, boosting investment in machine learning and other development programmes.

The online firm, which already has one base in the city, has opened another site near the train stationwith the capacity for over 400 employees to be based there as part of the company's commitment to developing drone technology.