Amazon releases test flight video of delivery drone

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Amazon has revealed details of its forthcoming delivery drone and released video footage of it during test flights.

Speaking at an Amazon Conference in Las Vegas, USA this week, Jeff Wilke, consumer worldwide CEO at Amazon said, “We’ve been hard at work building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under 5 lbs to customers in less than 30 minutes.

“With the help of our fulfillment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months.”

The drone is able to transition between vertical flight for take-off and landings and horizontal flight for increased efficiency and features “shrouds”, covers over its rotors that double up as wings during long periods of flight. It is also able to move with six degrees of freedom, which Wilke said makes it easier to remain stable in windy conditions.

Amazon’s drone also uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in its vision system to recognize and avoid static and moving obstacles and take-off and land.

“Our drones are safe, efficient, stable, and good for the environment. We know customers have high standards, so we set a high bar for Prime Air. And we’re excited to be nearing our goal,” said Wilke.

Development of the drone was first announced by Amazon in 2013 and testing of it has been conducted at a site in Cambridgeshire, UK. Pictures of flight tests taken at the site were published earlier this year.

 

 

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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