New Amazon ad depicts future drone delivery

30 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Shows Off Prime Air Delivery Drone With Celebrity Guest.

Sometimes you need a new pair of shoes right now, and Amazon wants to make sure you can get them. “It looks like science fiction, but it’s real,” Amazon said on its website. “One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.” The drone itself weighs under 55 pounds.Amazon is seeking to get as much mileage as possible out of new star-signing Jeremy Clarkson, with the former Top Gear presenter fronting an ad unveiling a new hybrid drone that could see deliveries made to customers’ backyards.

Almost exactly two years after first announcing its plans to deliver packages with a drone, Amazon revealed a new prototype of one of its delivery drones. In July, Clarkson and ex-Top Gear co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May signed a three-series deal to make a motoring show for Amazon reportedly worth an eye-watering £160m. Here are some interesting revelations: Amazon’s prototype is an octocopter — meaning it has eight propellers and can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. In the announcement video, narrator Jeremy Clarkson—formerly of Top Gear, soon to be of Amazon Prime Instant Video—tells a story set in “the not too distant future.” A suburban family’s daughter has had her soccer cleats ruined by the family dog.

In the video, the drone takes of vertically, flies to the drop-off spot — in this case, a backyard with an Amazon ‘A’ to mark the landing area — and then touches down vertically to safely deliver the package. But the design also includes wings and a “pusher motor” so that it can transition from helicopter takeoffs to the energy-efficient flight of a plane at altitude. And to be clear it is the sort of football you play with your feet…” In it he promotes Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, while cruising around a country house on a Segway backed by Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild, and makes a subtle reference to his departure from the BBC following fracas with producer Oisin Tymon. Amazon, Google, Walmart and other companies are waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to release comprehensive rules and regulations for drone flight.

It can pick out where exactly to land, thanks to what appears to be a plastic mat with Amazon’s logo on it that the customer puts on their lawn. (This presumably wouldn’t work for shoppers who don’t have a lawn with lots of space for drone landings.) Amazon’s new aircraft is seen taking off, landing, and hovering like a quadcopter. Since then, Amazon has been patenting the technology behind its proposed drone system, and has previously said that as soon as the FAA sorts out its regulations for commercial drone use in the national airspace, it’ll be ready to fly its drones.

Amazon will need to be certain its drone can land in a backyard without any mishaps involving a family pet, kids, stray sports equipment, a new birdbath or whatever else might be in a yard. Jeff Bezos has had quite an aviation-heavy week: His Blue Origin space tourism company showed off its reusable rocket Nov. 24, and hinted at a near future where we’ll be able to see the stars from near space. Everyone from big tech companies such as Amazon to start-ups is developing this technology, so that drones can identify obstacles and automatically avoid them. If you look at the photo below and remember that blue box is actually a shoe box, it’s obvious the drone is far larger than the consumer drones we see most frequently, such as the DJI Phantom and Parrot Bebop.

At the same time, all that size creates space for the nine propellers — and a drone with nine motors has more back-up propellers that a drone with four propellers, which improves safety.

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