Author Topic: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"  (Read 12733 times)

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Offline tom66

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Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« on: December 02, 2013, 07:44:41 PM »
http://mashable.com/2013/12/01/amazon-unveils-flying-robot-delivery-drones/

This seems somewhat impractical. World record flights of above 60 minutes are rare (15~20 minutes is typically a maximum); what if the Amazon drone has a strong headwind? It's going to need a large battery and this means carrying more weight. While 90 minutes and above have been achieved, that is by luck and by having a low weight frame and design.

It seems more like a PR stunt than any practical service.
 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 07:47:35 PM »
I don't think there's even a grain of truth to this story.
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Offline deth502

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 12:32:39 AM »
im not gonna pretend to understand the technology, but if we can deliver an explosive warhead to a cave 2 countries away with an unmanned drone, i think that delivering a book a few miles away shouldnt be that much of an issue.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 12:52:15 AM »
Unmanned drones use jet fuel don't they?
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 12:53:01 AM »
Is it legal to "catch" this thing if it flies above your property ?  >:D

« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:00:52 AM by BravoV »
 

Offline olsenn

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 01:26:07 AM »
There's no way this story has any shred of truth; it sounds to me like Jeff Bezos was on drugs and thought April Fools was in December.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 01:28:54 AM »
Look out everyone, looks like The Onion has sprung a leak! :scared:
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Offline sacherjj

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 01:29:31 AM »
If only there was some way to get everyone thinking about, talking about, and visiting Amazon on Cyber Monday.  I wonder how that could be accomplished.    :clap:
 

Online Hydrawerk

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 05:46:35 AM »
 :o :o :scared: :palm: :-- :wtf:
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Offline ejeffrey

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 05:49:19 AM »
Is it legal to "catch" this thing if it flies above your property ?  >:D

No.
 

Offline JoeyP

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 06:30:36 AM »
I just saw an interview on the business channel with someone who claims to be heading the group developing the drones. The interview took place in an Amazon warehouse, and they sounded pretty serious about trying to develop the system. There was some video showing it being loaded and delivering a package. However, he kept making statements like "there is still much work to be done", "we are years away from a fully functional system". And when any interesting question was asked regarding technical aspects or FAA authorization, the response was "I'm not in a position to discuss that". It was also reported that the FAA has been tasked with coming up with a set of rules governing the civilian use of drones by 2015.
 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 06:51:53 AM »
This is so stupid, how can they even consider just leaving it there on your front lawn anyway?
How are they going to get enough drones to make the plan feasible?
How are they going to keep them in the air for long enough?
How are they going to fly them fast enough?
How are they going to be able to lift anything over a few grams?
How is this going to save money after all the drones they destroy?
How are they going to have operators for each one?
How are the FAA going to let them get away with this?
How are they going to be allowed to fly them over public spaces?

I guess April fools came early late this year  :clap:
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 07:14:55 AM by Jon86 »
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Offline Stonent

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 06:53:14 AM »
Amazon.com has a FAQ about these drones and one is "Is this a joke" and they said No, it is 100% a fact that they have this in development with plans to deploy in 2015. They said currently there is a ban until 2015 on commercial use of drones in the US, but they expect the ban will not be renewed. "oops, I'm sorry senator I seem to have misplaced my packet of money. Let me know if you find it"
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Offline grumpydoc

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Offline JoeyP

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2013, 07:30:11 AM »
Not as stupid as you seem to think.

This is so stupid, how can they even consider just leaving it there on your front lawn anyway?

Doorstep works, and UPS already does this (with no signature) for residential delivery.

How are they going to get enough drones to make the plan feasible?

Build them. They're not made of some scarce unobtanium. Just takes money, and Amazon has plenty of that.

How are they going to keep them in the air for long enough?
How are they going to fly them fast enough?
How are they going to be able to lift anything over a few grams?

Already demonstrated.

How is this going to save money after all the drones they destroy?

Good question, but they seem to think it can be done. Destroying them will be a crime, but I'm sure plenty of red-necks will be doing that until a few (hundred) get prosecuted.

How are they going to have operators for each one?

No need. They are autonomous, and simply need GPS coordinates.

How are the FAA going to let them get away with this?
How are they going to be allowed to fly them over public spaces?

These changes to the laws are already in progress. Expected to be legally possible by 2015 (which is probably sooner than their drone program can be ready).
 

Offline fcb

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 07:36:48 AM »
Wouldn't bet against this happening at all. I actually think it's highly likely - after all when you look at most sci-fi films set in a 'megapolis' they have streams vehicles flying around in controlled lanes and at controlled heights - you don't think they all have people in them.

And if there is a commercial advantage to this technology, why not.  Sure there are plenty of safety related problems to solve, but they are solvable.  I reckon it will be Fedex/UPS/DHL that'll be on the livery though.

Anyone actually looking forward to this, other than me. Or are you still mourning the repeal of the Red Flag Act...

 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 07:37:52 AM »
Touché Joey.
I can see this being feasible on a small scale, I just think that on a bigger scale it's not going to be anywhere near as easy to manage and control as the current system. It all just seems a little ridiculous, not to mention how unreliable it would be.
What's doing to happen if the drone carrying Dave's new £10,000 multimeter goes down in a field somewhere and little Johnny finds it?

How does the 'leaving the parcel outside your door' thing work? I've never experienced this other than being able to tell the parcel service where to leave it. I know very well that if a parcel was left outside my door it'd be there for no more than 30 seconds. If they started doing that with my packages I'd never order from them again.
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2013, 07:52:12 AM »
I can see this being feasible on a small scale, I just think that on a bigger scale it's not going to be anywhere near as easy to manage and control as the current system. It all just seems a little ridiculous, not to mention how unreliable it would be.
What's doing to happen if the drone carrying Dave's new £10,000 multimeter goes down in a field somewhere and little Johnny finds it?

They don't have to deliver everything by drone. I wouldn't expect to see a 100 pound exercise bike delivered that way. But in the interview I saw, they mentioned that 80% of their shipments weigh less than 5 pounds. Many of them are books. I'd expect they wouldn't offer the option of "30 minute delivery" for high-value or bulky items.

How does the 'leaving the parcel outside your door' thing work? I've never experienced this other than being able to tell the parcel service where to leave it. I know very well that if a parcel was left outside my door it'd be there for no more than 30 seconds. If they started doing that with my packages I'd never order from them again.

Ya, unfortunately that's just what UPS does by default. If you pay extra they will require a signature for residential delivery. Oddly they always require a signature for commercial delivery. Seems to me they have that backwards. But they do it because it takes a lot of time for their drivers to track someone down at residences where people are often away from home during delivery hours.
 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2013, 07:57:10 AM »
How are the FAA going to let them get away with this?
How are they going to be allowed to fly them over public spaces?
   There are no public air-spaces in the US.  The government owns all of it, hence it's illegal to shoot down or at any flying aircraft and can (WILL) result in long-term care for you in a  federal pen. (I'm a private pilot)
[/quote]

No not public as in owned by people, I mean open areas with people walking about. I'm pretty sure that here in the UK if you fly a drown around town, or even over a railway, road or anything else that isn't an open grass area, you can land yourself in a difficult situation with the cops. I don't know about the US but it seems interesting to me.
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Offline JohnnyGringo

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2013, 08:02:19 AM »


No not public as in owned by people, I mean open areas with people walking about. I'm pretty sure that here in the UK if you fly a drown around town, or even over a railway, road or anything else that isn't an open grass area, you can land yourself in a difficult situation with the cops. I don't know about the US but it seems interesting to me.
In US, there's lots of FAA regulations concerning flying over populated areas. Minimum altitudes, restricted airspace, MOAs (Military Operational Areas), dropping stuff out the window.
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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2013, 08:03:40 AM »
The government owns all of it, hence it's illegal to shoot down or at any flying aircraft and can (WILL) result in long-term care for you in a  federal pen. (I'm a private pilot)  They take that kind of shit very seriously. Especially in lieu of recent US history.

What? No free shotgun target practice? Illegal you say? Like shooting holes into traffic signs? Which never happens in the US, no, never ever.
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Offline Jon86

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2013, 08:03:50 AM »


No not public as in owned by people, I mean open areas with people walking about. I'm pretty sure that here in the UK if you fly a drown around town, or even over a railway, road or anything else that isn't an open grass area, you can land yourself in a difficult situation with the cops. I don't know about the US but it seems interesting to me.
In US, there's lots of FAA regulations concerning flying over populated areas. Minimum altitudes, restricted airspace, MOAs (Military Operational Areas), dropping stuff out the window.

Minimum altitudes? You're pretty screwed with a little RC drone then aren't you?
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Offline george graves

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2013, 08:06:49 AM »
Eeek.  Figures "mashable" would cover this.  They love link bait.

I sill giggle over their "cell  phone in a magazine" video.

Offline JoeyP

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2013, 08:07:56 AM »


How are they going to get enough drones to make the plan feasible?

Build them. They're not made of some scarce unobtanium. Just takes money, and Amazon has plenty of that.
No. Amazon is still loosing money every year.

They're also building million square foot warehouses every year. If they decide to spend the money on drones they can afford it.

How are the FAA going to let them get away with this?
How are they going to be allowed to fly them over public spaces?
   There are no public air-spaces in the US.  The government owns all of it, hence it's illegal to shoot down or at any flying aircraft and can (WILL) result in long-term care for you in a  federal pen. (I'm a private pilot)  They take that kind of shit very seriously. Especially in lieu of recent US history.

Model RC planes fly at low altitudes all the time with no specific FAA per/flight control or authorization. Drones can fly at the same levels as RC planes (and probably have no reason to waste fuel going higher). Yes, there will be some FAA regulations outlined in 2015, but drone users will simply have to abide by those guidlines.
 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Amazon to use drones to deliver items in "under 30 minutes"
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2013, 08:15:19 AM »
In reality, how reliable are these things going to be? Especially in wind/rain? Surely the yield isn't going to be as high as it would be using traditional delivery methods?
Also, Is this only rolling out to the US?
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