Amazon has filed a patent for a new type of mini-drione – one that can be voice-controlled and used to help locate cars or lost children in crowds.

The patent says the drone could receive a voice command from a user, such as “find my car” and then begin to search. The drone can then be controlled, if needed, via an app on the user’s smartphone that is connected to the craft.

mini drone
(Francisco Seco/AP)

 

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It has been suggested Amazon could tie in the technology with its Alexa voice-powered assistant, which has just reached the UK for the first time via the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speaker system.

Another possible use of the drone mentioned in the patent is by police to assist with traffic stops, as an alternative or accompaniment to a body cam. One drawing within the patent application even depicts a drone small enough to sit on the shoulder, or radio, of a police officer.

drone patent
(US Patent and Trademark Office)

 

The tech giant is already testing drones in another area of its business – package delivery. Trials are under way in the UK that Amazon hopes will eventually enable it to deliver parcels short distances by air.

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