Amazon reveals ‘silent’ delivery drone that can dodge ‘power lines and dogs’ – and will start shipping packages ‘within months’

Amazon reveals 'silent' delivery drone that can dodge 'power lines and dogs' – and will start shipping packages 'within months'

AMAZON has revealed the newest version of its Prime Air delivery drone – which now shuttles packages through the air “silently”.
The redesigned drone has six propellers, takes off vertically, and has a tilting design that allows for fast and agile flight.
4 Amazon’s new delivery drone is part of the Prime Air scheme unveiled in 2013Credit: Amazon Prime Air
4 It promises to carry packages held inside its central fuselage to customers in just 30 minutesCredit: Amazon Prime Air
The Prime Air drone-based delivery system was first announced in December 2013, but is still in a testing phase.
Now Amazon has redesigned the drone completely, and says it will be ready to start delivering packages in the next few months.
“We’re building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in under 30 minutes,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Consumer Worldwide at Amazon, speaking at this week’s Amazon re:MARS keynote.
“And while five pounds might not sound like a lot, it represents between 75% and 90% of the packages that Amazon delivers to its customers today.”
4 The drone can only carry packages that weigh less than five poundsCredit: Amazon Prime Air
Wilke revealed that the drones would be shipping packages to customers “in a matter of months”.
However, it’s not clear exactly when or where these deliveries take place – and if they’ll be proper deliveries, or just test cases.
In any case, Amazon is desperate to assure people that its drones will be safe.
“We’ve designed an automated drone management system to ensure that there are safe distances between our drones and other aircraft in the area,” Wilke explained.
“Second, we’ve built robust aircraft with sophisticated controls that are just as robust and stable and capable as commercial aircraft.
“Third…we’ve designed our aircraft to be safe on its own.”
4 Sensors will detect when customers are near the drop-zone you’ve designated – and avoid them until the area is clearCredit: Amazon / YouTube / The Sun
The drones come fitted with visual, thermal and ultrasonic sensors – which work in unison to make sure no objects are missed.
For instance, Wilke points out that “fluffy dogs are invisible to sonar”, so other sensors will be required to spot a hairy hound.
“From paragliders to power lines, to the corgi in the backyard, the brain of the drone has safety covered,” he boasted.
Amazon’s Prime Air drone will also avoid landing near a customer if they’re too close to the drop-off point.
To prevent this from happening in the first place, customers will be notified when the drone is ready to land.
It’s not clear how fast the drone will travel, and if customers can expect to pay extra for a drone delivery.
We’ve asked Amazon for information about the drone’s top speed, and will update this story with any response.
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Amazon recently unveiled Scout, a self-driving delivery robot that carries packages to your house.
Amazon recently started selling a £400 toilet-cleaning robot that scrubs your bog’s bowl and rim.
And there were some amazing robots unveiled at this year’s CES 2019 tech show – including a machine that folds your clothes, an AI pet-sitter and a self-driving suitcase.
We also had a first look at ‘Fresh Geoffrey’, a robot butler that pours beer, brings you snacks and even does the washing up.
Would you trust a drone to deliver important packages to your home? Let us know in the comments!

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