Future technology: Amazon reveals a drone

Future technology: Amazon reveals a drone that will deliver packages to your home in 30 minutes

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that the giant online store is developing a drone-based delivery service called Prime Air. According to Bezos, Prime Air could get its customers their products only half an hour after they click on the "buy" button. His "optimistic" estimate of "60 minutes" was that Prime Air will be available in 4 to 5 years.

Amazon has presented the latest version of its Prime Air delivery drone, a hybrid aircraft that is capable of taking off and landing vertically, as well as a sustained forward flight. The company says it wants to launch a delivery service using the drone in "the next few months," but has not said where this could happen or how many customers it could cover.

Introducing the drone on stage at Amazon's Re: MARS conference in Las Vegas, Amazon's global consumer CEO Jeff Wilke emphasized the safety features of the plane. "We know that customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if the system is incredibly safe," said Wilke. Amazon says the drone's security features make it as "robust and stable as a commercial aircraft," a major technology claim that is still in its infancy.

The new drone uses a combination of thermal cameras, depth cameras and sonar to detect hazards. With the help of machine learning models, on-board computers can
Automatically identify obstacles and navigate around them. "From paragliders, power lines, to corgi in your backyard, this drone has covered security," said Wilke.

Amazon executive Jeff Wilke announced Wednesday at the company's re-MARS conference in Las Vegas that drones can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages of less than five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes. While that may sound like a light load, Wilke said that technically between 75 and 90% of Amazon's deliveries could be handled by the drone.

Drones are part of Amazon's continued drive to reduce package delivery times for its customers as it launches one-day shipment to its Prime members in North America, and its hybrid design means it can take off and land vertically, but also fly horizontally like a plane during the course of delivery. Here is a closer look:


Since Amazon first announced its plan for a Prime Air delivery service in 2013, the company says it has gone through more than two dozen drone designs, none of which was as quiet or able to avoid other planes, cables or people on the ground as well as this.

Drone rotors are also completely covered for safety, with these covers serving as wings during sustained flight. The drone has six degrees of freedom (compared to four for a normal quadcopter), which Amazon says allows a more dynamic and agile flight. A tiltable design allows the drone to use the same six propellers to fly forward as it does to take off and land. The packages for delivery are carried in the fuselage in the middle

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