Amazon PrimeAir Uses Unmanned Octo-Rotor Drone To Deliver Your Goods

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News Posted: Sun, Dec 1 2013 10:06 PM
Tonight on CBS' "60 Minutes," Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, sat down for an extended interview. Amazon is an online superstore that has morphed into a technological powerhouse on so many other levels -- tablets and eReaders included, that they're effecting a dramatic change in the way people shop. The company has historically operated on thin profits and a volume model and there is no doubt, Amazon is a disruptive force in etail. Amazon also typically invests excess cash into new fulfillment centers and other R&D projects. Why? So that Amazon itself doesn't get disrupted by whatever big innovation is bound to come next.

Amazon PrimAir Octocopter

One way to stay ahead of the curve is to innovate in shipping, which Amazon has done through its 2-day "Prime" service. But clearly, having just about everything under the sun to your door in 48 hours isn't good enough for Mr. Bezos. He's aiming for 30 minutes or less, just like your local pizzaria. During the interview, Bezos provided a sneak peek at Amazon Prime Air, which relies on drones to deliver packages under five pounds to locales in around 30 to 60 minutes. Drones have become quite popular, and quite cheap. They're also very intelligent, and with a GPS address and a full charge, it's not unfathomable for this plan to turn into reality.

  Amazon Octocopter

In fact, Bezos says that Amazon is striving to make it happen. It'll take until at least 2015, because that's how long it would take Amazon to get FAA clearance. But, there are other hurdles as well. What happens if the drone hits a tree? What about bad weather? What if it drops the package? What if theives swipe packages out of mid-air? All of these, and more, are on Amazon's mind. But, Amazon assures us the project is real, and it's moving towards bringing it to fruition.

If this pans out, it will surely up-end the shipping industry once again. Just imagine a last-second, Christmas-morning delivery from Amazon via a Prime Air Drone? That kind of magic could even upstage Santa himself.
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RWilliams replied on Sun, Dec 1 2013 10:24 PM

"Just imagine a last-second, Christmas-morning delivery from Amazon via a Prime Air Drone?"

I quicker imagine a situation where you have a lady-friend over for a lovely evening, but forgot to bring the required ingredients to see the entire evening through. Order supplies on Amazon, and boom, night saved.

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Dec 1 2013 10:47 PM

That's pretty amazing stuff right there, if they can pull it off. I wonder though, how the radio control will work. Must be some sort of advanced GPS guided delivery system.

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Brilliant. Would be fun to sit outside with a shotgun and pick them off as they fly over.

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FreeJet replied on Sun, Dec 1 2013 11:37 PM

Possible downside to filling the friendly skies with shipping drones? Skeet-shooters. Thought-pattern: "I wonder how many of them there flyin' boxes I can pick-off with this here rifle in 30 seconds?  Let's have a competition! "

Next up: Amazon Transporters. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard would say, "Make it so, Number 1".

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I would guess that would only be an option in major hubs like N.Y., L.A. etc., I don't see them delivering to the Pocono's in 30 minutes or less.

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Ow my brain.

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A few things that come to mind:

1. I think only cities that have Amazon Warehouses would utlize this Prime Air feature... I mean how would they manage to deliver in under 30mins to places via copter?

2. Imagine how many people would shoot that thing down... lol; or worse, the copter becomes defective mid-flight.

3. Now... would be awesome if Amazon somehow utilizes GPS signals of phones during ordering and can ship that package to where the phone is. [Piece of tech we would have to wait for]. As a cyclist, this would definitely benefit me if I happen to get multiple flats on a long-long ride.

4. Other than that, GREAT idea! :D

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neat idea, hope it works out well. I would like to see this done well around where I am since at work we order lots of items from them and most if not all we try to get via prime selection.

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Can we say ( the jetsons )

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