Amazon tests flying delivery robots - video

Retail giant promises 30-minute delivery by unmanned drones as soon as 2015 after releasing video of parcel-copter in action.
 
  • video Amazon Prime Air drone
    Hannah Bouckley
    Last updated: 11 June 2014, 11:16 BST

    Amazon could soon be distributing packages using flying drones, as the online retail giant reveals it has been testing new delivery system called Prime Air.

    Amazon says the goal of Prime Air is to deliver parcels in 30 minutes or less using unmanned drones.

    Amazon chose Cyber Monday as the day to release video footage of how Prime Air might look, showing a package being put into a delivery crate at the warehouse before being loaded onto a drone and flown to the customer.

    Amazon predicts Prime Air will be airborne as early as 2015. Currently there are numerous issues regarding unmanned aerial vehicles and public safety, so the Federal Aviation Administration in the US (FAA) is working on rules that are expected to be in place within two years.

    Amazon says: “From a technology point of view, we’ll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place.

     “Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards.”

    In the future Amazon predicts flying Prime Air drones will become as normal as mail trucks, so it will be interesting to see how it develops and how much it costs. Certainly public safety is paramount, but will the air soon be full of flying postmen?

    Update: In response to Amazon's announcement, British bookseller Waterstones has unveiled details of O.W.L.S. - the Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service - which consists of a fleet of owls specially trained to deliver books within half an hour.

    Hannah Bouckley
    Last updated: 11 June 2014, 11:16 BST

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