Amazon Drone: non-story of the decade

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So let’s get this straight.

Amazon have announced that at some unspecified time in the future, probably years away, they’ll use drones to deliver parcels the last bit of their journey. Quadcopter drones have a flight time measured in minutes, usually, and a maximum speed of a few tens of miles an hour, so let’s generously say that it’ll have a maximum delivery range of five miles from the depot. The one in the video looks a bit weedy and would probably struggle to carry the entire West Wing DVD box set, let alone the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. They’ll surely only be able to land in houses with large gardens, not, for instance, the small flats with no outdoor space (or small balconies) that make up a large percentage of the homes in the metropolitan areas they’ll probably be closest to.

Reaper drone
Delivery by Hellfire missile also available. (Photo: Neil Dunridge)

So, some day years in the future, if you live in a house with a decent-sized garden within a few miles of a major Amazon depot, and you order a small, light, non-fragile item from Amazon, it might get delivered by a drone instead of by a dude in a van. Hold, as I believe they say in newspapers, the front page.

Still, it’s got old Jeff Bezos et al a lot of publicity for the price of a shoddily made home video. Amazing how excited people get when you use the word “drone” these days.

More on this story:

Formation-flying nano-robots: awesome
The rise of the unstoppable Amazon juggernaut
Bezos’s Amazon buyout is Nixon’s revenge on the media


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