Amazon patents drone that drags skiers up mountains using tow handle

End of the ski lift? Amazon patents drone which can drag skiers up mountains using a tow handle

  • A retractable rope would be lowered to take skiers up to the top of the mountain
  • The drone would be summoned using a smart phone to find someone’s location 
  • Amazon said extreme skiers could use this to ‘customise experience’ on slopes

Amazon has patented a drone which could replace the ski lift by dragging skiers up a mountain using a tow handle.

The system works by attaching a retractable rope to a drone, which could be summoned using a smart phone.

A person’s location would be sent to the drone from their phone, and a rope would be lowered for the skier wishing to travel top of the slope. 

Amazon has patented a drone which could replace the ski lift by dragging skiers up a mountain using a tow handle

A person’s location would be sent to the drone from their phone, and a rope would be lowered for the skier wishing to travel top of the slope

A tow handle would be attached to the end of the rope so that the skier can hold on while the drone flies slowly.   

Once the skier arrives at the top of the ski slope, the rope retracts and the drone flies away to be used another time. 

Amazon wrote in the patent filing that an extreme skier may use this system to ‘reach a remote area or to customise their experience’. 

This means they could use it when going ‘off a designated run and for reaching fresh powder’.  

The document also suggests that the drone tow handle could also be used for water-skiing or skateboarding according to The Telegraph. 

 Amazon wrote in the patent filing that an extreme skier may use this system to ‘reach a remote area or to customise their experience’

The decision to patent a drone tow handle system doesn’t guarantee that Amazon will produce it, and it is not the first company to investigate this option.

 In 2016, Samsung sponsored a video where YouTube star Casey Neistat used a drone to snowboard up a mountain.   

The History of the ski lift 

  • The world’s first three ski chairlifts were created for the ski resort in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1936 and 1937.
  • These lifts were created by engineer James Curran. 
  • The first chairlift was installed on Proctor Mountain, three miles away from the resorts famous Bald Mountain.
  •  This was a single-chair ski lift designed to take skiers between Proctor and Dollar Mountain. 
  • Before the ski lift, people wanting to access the top of the mountain would either have to walk or use pulls and hoists. 
  • The first double chairlift, with two seats side-by-side, opened in 1946.
  • Triple and quadruple models were not commonplace until the early 1960s.  
  • The first chairlift in Europe was built in 1940 in Czechoslovakia in the Moravian-Silesean Beskids mountain range.  

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