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Amazon Prime "AIR"

KJ4CCH

Senior Member
#1
Here is something I cant wait for:


I seen this on the local news and just had to look into it more.

If they carry threw with this, i am gonna be poor really quick.
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#3
"We're sorry, but your shipment has not reached it's destination due to a GPS failure. Your shipment is currently flying backwards between some high voltage power lines."
 

KJ4CCH

Senior Member
#4
@colorex hahaha, yeah i cant imagine the logistical issues the amazon team will face if they roll this idea out.
 
#5
Amazing Idea can't see it happening in reality though,

1 To construct a battery to travel miles without stopping
2 Coast of the service
3 Wind, rain, hail changing flying circumstances and lack of fpv visual
 

tramsgar

Senior Member
#7
Why not use the old and proven ballistic delivery? Just mount a BFG on top of every warehouse and text "take cover" to the customer.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#8
Being from the south I can't help but imagine the scene when Bubba and Billy learn what them there flying gizmos are. The two of them sit in the yard drinking beer and hunting for Christmas gifts every year.

Or maybe they learn of a field in the middle of the path from warehouse to the nearest upper class subdivision and camp it out and hunt it like ducks during heavy shopping periods.

I know they could fly much higher than a shot gun would be happy to hit them, but it wouldn't take much damage. Ding a prop and here comes your new xBox One.

How aware are these things of the things around them? Let us not forget the large props spinning like mad when these thing comes to land in your front yard while your kids play football.

Very cool idea, and Amazon would be the people to pull it off but there are some real big questions to answer with it.
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#9
I think it's just a marketing campaign. We are still far from integrating fully autonomous systems to our daily life. Google's self-driving cars have been around for a while, but they're still not commercially available.
 

KJ4CCH

Senior Member
#10
I actually thought about someone shooting them things down. To be honest, It was my first though. If this rolls out, i think there will be a string of "drone hunts". I think it will be like that eventually, when UAVs and drones become more mainstream and become apart of our everyday lives.

Now that colorex mentions it, i do believe that it was just a marketing campaign.

But the question i have now is: Has any news agency speak of this negatively? The local news station seemed they welcomed this idea with open arms, BUT, drones in general are bad according to the same news agency.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#12
If nothing else, Jeff Bezos has single handedly turned the drone fear on it's head.

Do I think this autonomous instant delivery system is anything more than a media stunt? nope. that's all it is. While technically feasible for a proof of concept, I don't think the power systems can do what they want and keep it affordable. A 10 mile radius? round trip? fuggitaboutit. At 30mph -- cooking it for a quad carrying a heavy load -- that's a 40 minute flight. Are flight times up to that? yes. Running full speed the whole flight? well, maybe. With a durable airframe and modest cargo capacity? Don't think they can pull it off with any consistency.

But what this *has* done is got *everyone* talking about it, with expectancy instead of fear. This does a couple of valuable things for us.

First, it changes the public's temperament. "Drone" no longer equals death and surveillance. It's no longer the creepy Santa keeping a logbook and stalking little children -- now its the Santa that drops presents under your tree (you know, the tree in your front yard;)).

Second, it's more pressure on the FAA to get their head back in the game and make rules for UAS that make sense -- it's no longer a special interest lobby, the AMA, but now heavy hitting commercial venues too. Once big money gets involved, bureaucracies are often prodded into action.

For amazon, this has earned them a seat at the table helping revise those rules, even if it is vaporware -- a smart move on their part, if this kind of shipping does become feasible in the next decade or so.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#13
I agree with Dan's assessment of the social implications of the Amazon Drone story. I also agree that this idea has little chance of coming to fruition in the next five or even ten years. It has a better chance of happening in an area where the need outweighs the challenge. I know I've shared this TED talk on another thread, but I think it bears re-sharing. It describes a system not unlike what Amazon proposes, but the situation is completely different. This system of delivery solves a serious problem rather than just being a cool alternative to existing delivery systems.


 
#14
I have to play devil's advocate for the past two posts.

Just compare the state of electric flight ten years ago to where it is today. If you extrapolate out the price/performance ten years into the future, delivery drones are entirely possible. When you calculate the amount of gasoline/diesel required by a delivery van to deliver a small package to a lone rural address, it is financially practical today.

To think that someone inside the FAA has not realized this just absurd. Unless you can prove to me otherwise, it is my belief that the FAA is well aware of what it means to license commercial UAV flight, and it is specifically due to the issued involved in licensing and regulating this type of commercial activity are *exactly* what has prevented the FAA from issuing any regulations thus far.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#15
Extrapolating what the future holds from the past, WHY DON'T I HAVE A FLYING CAR YET?!?!?!?!?!? (sorry if I seem bitter. Physics can be particularly cruel at times . . . )

Does "by 2015" seem arbitrary to you? It is. It's the deadline year selected by congress when it gave the FAA a mandate to develop these regulations. In short, they don't have a choice to leave it undefined.

The FAA is like any buracracy -- given the choice it would be happy doing the minimum to satisfy it's charter. It's been thrilled with the status quo for decades, and the AMA has lobbied hard in past to keep it that way. Times, however, are changing, and more importantly, they've been given marching orders to get with the times. Some, like the AMA and Amazon are now trying to goad the FAA into using the mandate to make *Good* changes. Some, like TBS, have been goading the FAA into making *any* changes at all.
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#16
Just to be clear, my comments about the feasibility of Amazon's ambition has nothing to the capabilities of electronics in the next 5 to 10 years. I'm sure the advances will overcome any deficits that exist today. My comments have more to do with the tangle of Federal, State and Local regulations that exist today and may exist in the future.

Also, if this type of delivery system does come to fruition, doesn't it make more sense that it will be pioneered by UPS, FedEx or similar entity that already has physical hubs in most significant population centers? Amazon would have to either build distribution centers all over the place, or limit this service to major metropolises. Current courier services would probably still not use it in urban or suburban areas where package delivery is common. As you say, it would probably be used more for lone rural addresses.

My thought is that this type of delivery system has a better chance where the need is the greatest. And I don't mean for the delivery of merchandise from Amazon or anywhere else, but for the delivery of medicine, or repair parts for the water pump that supplies clean water for the village.

That's where this technology tested, refined and proven. Once that happens and there is an economic track record, it may spread into areas where it would be more of a convenience rather than an necessity.
 
#17
Also, if this type of delivery system does come to fruition, doesn't it make more sense that it will be pioneered by UPS, FedEx or similar entity that already has physical hubs in most significant population centers?
Not in the slightest. FedEx was nothing special when they rolled out their concept of overnight shipping through a centralized hub, something that most people in the industry predicted would be a failure. All of the established retailers were the ones most resistant to internet sales, and despite their logistics, capital, and experience, entered the market only when it was too late.


Amazon would have to either build distribution centers all over the place, or limit this service to major metropolises.
Amazon *is* building distribution centers all over the place. Granted, they are not suitable to direct air delivery, but then neither are those of existing carriers.
 
#18
It is amazing how more people will have heard about the Amazon drone stunt for getting their new iphone case 'droned' to them than will have heard of the potential for a Matter Network of drones for saving lives.

Something about the whole Amazon thing just feels BAD to me. I keep thinking, is this REALLY a problem? What could we as the American consumer need so badly that we couldn't
  1. Pick up on the way home from work?
  2. Wait two days to have it show up on our door step by a paid human?
  3. Order online and pick it up? 10-mile radius???

Now imagine if Amazon had announced they were partnering with Andreas Raptopoulos and his group to develop their vision with an add on that the technology could even be used for Amazon orders in the future?

I second Craftydan's notion that if nothing else it may help put a better face on the term "Drone".
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#19
Amazon *is* building distribution centers all over the place. Granted, they are not suitable to direct air delivery, but then neither are those of existing carriers.
I'll be interested to see an Amazon distribution center pop up in Billings, MT population 106,000, or in Bozeman, MT population 36,000. I know there are UPS hubs there now. I don't know quite what you mean by "suitable to direct air delivery".
 

RoyBro

Senior Member
Mentor
#20
Now imagine if Amazon had announced they were partnering with Andreas Raptopoulos and his group to develop their vision with an add on that the technology could even be used for Amazon orders in the future?

I second Craftydan's notion that if nothing else it may help put a better face on the term "Drone".
That would have been a real karma booster for Amazon in my eyes and would have been much more unlikely to be labeled a "marketing ploy".