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Amazon announces plans for drone delivery service, says safety will be key priority

December 2, 2013

Amazon_PrimeAir2

Amazon announced yesterday that it is developing a drone delivery service called Prime Air that will aim to get packages into customer’s hands within 30 minutes. They are planning to launch as soon as FAA regulations are lifted — as early as 2015. Amazon states that safety will be their top priority. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “Look, this thing can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood.”

Amazon has not been shy when it comes to investing in novel delivery systems — their $775 million investment last year in Kiva Systems brought large-scale automation to their warehouse floors in an effort to improve efficiency.

Connect the dots:

Check out this new video by Mark Mueller out of Raffaello D’Andrea’s Flying Machine Arena at ETH Zurich, and note that D’Andrea is the tech wizard behind Kiva’s robotic warehouse — the video shows a novel failsafe algorithm that allows an unmanned aerial vehicle to recover and land safely following propeller loss. According to Mueller, the algorithm allows the vehicle to remain in flight despite the loss of one, two, or possibly even three propellers. (Full disclosure: I consult with D’Andrea’s lab on communications.)

See also:
Amazon Promises Package Delivery By Drone: Is It for Real? – Evan Ackerman on Automaton
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos looks to the future –  Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes
Amazon Prime Air: 5 Predictions About the Retailer’s Delivery Drones – Doug Aamoth on TIME
UPS researching delivery drones that could compete with Amazon’s – Ben Popper on The Verge

Amazon_PrimeAir

Hallie Siegel robotics editor-at-large.. read more


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