Zipline slapped with patent lawsuit over drone detect and avoid tech
Scientific Applications & Research Associates (SARA) has sued drone delivery company Zipline in a California court, claiming that Zipline’s new acoustics-based drone detection and avoidance (DAA) system violates a patent covering SARA’s technology.
Founded in 1989, SARA is a research firm that focuses on the development of sensing and collaboration systems for autonomous machines, among other things. It announced a first-of-its-kind acoustic collision avoidance technology for drones in 2007 and filed for patent protection. US Patent 7,606,115, entitled “Acoustic Airspace Collision Detection System,” was issued to the employee-owned company on October 20, 2009. Since then, SARA has continued to enhance its acoustic DAA technology and partnered with major drone industry players in the process.
SARA says it first started working on acoustic detection technology in 1999, tasked with finding a solution for use in military applications. While the initial aim…