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Amazon readies unmanned ‘Prime Air’ delivery drones

Monday, 2nd December 2013 08:20 GMT By Dave Cook

Amazon has announced that it is testing unmanned delivery drones capable of shipping goods in just 30 minutes. The service – dubbed ‘Prime Air’ – is said to be ready as soon as legislation allows drones in public airspace.


Image credit: Amazon.

Imagine one of those delivering your copy of Battlefield 4. That’d be slightly meta, I think.

The BBC reports that Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos has confirmed the Prime Air drones are in testing now. During an interview on CBS show 60 Minutes, he predicted that the Octocopter devices are capable of delivering a 2.3kg within 30 minutes of a consumer order.

It all hinges on the US Federal Aviation Administration, which is yet to allow the use of unmanned drones for civilian use. Speaking with CBS, Bezo added “I know this looks like science fiction, but it’s not. We can do half-hour delivery… and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver.”

Here’s a video of the drone in action:

The use of unmanned drones within civilian airspace is expected in the US by 2015 and across Europe in 2016. Bezos concluded, “One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.”

What do you make of the above? Would it be useful for getting launch games on day one, or does it scare the crap out of you?

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17 Comments

  1. ballz

    lol what :))

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Zana

    When you think it could be just a joke… http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/03/newspapers-delivered-by-drone/274506/

    #2 8 months ago
  3. sh4dow

    Aside from the fact that I always try to avoid ordering at Amazon ( https://www.google.com/search?q=amazon+workers&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a ), I wonder about the implications of this. Because it seems to me they would have to fly at a specific altitude that is higher than that of emergency helicopters. Otherwise, those helicopters might very soon have to penetrate a sea of unmanned drones whenever they want to land.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. RefuseBunny

    It’s an interesting concept but I can imagine the problems they’ll have trying it out.

    It doesn’t seem very secure. What if you don’t happen to notice the drone land? Someone will be off with your game in a flash!
    I’ve had enough trouble with Royal Mail ‘losing’ my packages where I’m living now.

    How stable are these drones? One strong gust of wind and there goes your game. Perhaps this isn’t a problem or perhaps they won’t be flying on windy days.

    These are just a couple of the things that randomly flash through my mind.

    I think it’s really interesting and we’ll see how it works out in the long run.
    In the very least I think we should expect to see police surveillance drones within cities in the next 5 – 10 years.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. G1GAHURTZ

    Our UAV is online!

    #5 8 months ago
  6. 8bitnuke

    ‘Murica

    #6 8 months ago
  7. Dyno

    This is so awesome!

    #7 8 months ago
  8. Lloytron

    Nice, time to order myself an airgun from amazon, and then take pot shots at any of these things I see flying past my house. Free stuff! Whoo :D

    #8 8 months ago
  9. mistermogul

    I can just see people shooting these fuckers down for some free stuff!

    #9 8 months ago
  10. foofly

    A strong jamming signal on their frequency and these things are coming down.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. KineticCalvaria

    Finally that AA gun I had installed on the roof is looking like a pretty good investment!

    #11 8 months ago
  12. Dave Cook

    What’s to stop some punk kid stealing the drone as it lands into his front garden with their copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3?

    #12 8 months ago
  13. Hcw87

    @12
    Indeed, and i wouldn’t feel safe having my mail sitting out on the asphalt just waiting for someone to nab it. You’d have to be at home expecting the delivery for this to be safe. But if it’s within 30 mins, it seems pretty awesome.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. DuckOfDestiny

    Well if we can design unmanned drones that kill people why not drones that deliver our mail too.

    Also I can see this having something like a GPS tracker so you can watch it as the drone gets closer to your home.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. Panthro

    Hahaha I can see it now, a bunch of kids in my street sees a drone flying above and chases it, throws rocks and eventually brings it down…

    Taking the drone and my fleshlight.

    There will be a lot of problems with this service but hey, its futuristic wooooooooooooo!

    #15 8 months ago
  16. sebastien rivas

    Great and on top you get a FREE AMAZON TUPERWARE.

    A bit more seriously,

    It is cool and may work but come on amazon how can you deliver in towns, and cities with all crossing wires in the air + not mentioning your device has blades with no protection whatsoever.
    Amazon delivery incoming…..
    I don;t think it is going to pass the FAA. There are too many potential riskS!!!!!!

    #16 8 months ago
  17. GrimRita

    I just love this. Not sure how they would get to me on the 3rd floor in my apartment. I guess I could leave the balcony doors open.

    Brilliant! I order so much from Amazon and I would jump at this

    #17 8 months ago

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