Drone Delivery from Amazon to Your Door

Share this Article

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an Amazon drone delivering a package of popcorn!!

Three years ago, the Chief Executive of Amazon announced the company’s interest in using drones as a means for delivering packages. At the time, very few people actually envisioned a future that would actually involve such a Jetsonesque application of technology. And yet, that time is drawing nearer. On December 7, a drone left a warehouse in Cambridgeshire, England and delivered to a customer an Amazon Fire streaming device and some popcorn. Hardly a day that will impress itself as a watershed moment (as in: “I remember exactly where I was when Amazon made its first drone delivery!”), but worth noting nonetheless.

amazon-prime-air-private-trial-flying-high-resThe flight itself covered only about 2 miles and lasted for 13 minutes, and Amazon has suggested that as a result of its success, it will now be shipping to two additional customers via drone. This could later expand to serve hundreds of shoppers as part of their Prime Air shopping experience. Imagine it: click on a book and wait for the pitter patter of little blades to cut through the air and land on a temporary landing pad in your yard or on the roof of your apartment. I know the novelty would eventually wear off, but I might order things a little more frequently just to have them brought to me like that (as in: “Gather round children, here comes mommy’s new socks!”).

There are some doubts, however, that this can become the next, regular method for goods deliveries to occur. There are questions about how these kinds of deliveries would be regulated by aviation rules, the ways in which deliveries might be impacted by weather, and what happens when the cargo is heavy – no one wants to hear of someone squished under a set of improperly secured, drone controlled encyclopedias.

There are also concerns about what this kind of personless delivery system might mean for workers. As automation is increasingly adopted to carve out increased profits for those at the top of businesses, workers lose their jobs to machines. Utilizing drones could mean that less truck drivers are needed to deliver goods. On the other hand, less trucks on the road could mean reduced environmental impacts. It’s an extremely complex three-dimensional puzzle game, the winners of which are far from easy to predict.

amazon-prime-air_private-trial_ground-high-resA final hurdle exists in public attitudes towards this new delivery method. Cambridgeshire resident Julia Napier is not sold on the idea that there are sufficient benefits to outweigh concerns about drones’ impacts on local wildlife. Part of her suspicions of the technology has been American regulators’ failure to green-light drone testing. In her words: “They are testing those drones here because they can’t do it in America. Whatever the Americans don’t want, I don’t want it, either.”

Although there have been several historical drone deliveries over the past year, it seems that we’re unlikely to see fleets of quadcopters darkening the skies, delivering goods hither and thither like flocks of 3D printed bumblebees in the very near future.  However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t started walking down the path that will eventually allow for the development of some of the systems in a way that can be successfully integrated into contemporary consumer culture.

And I still kind of want a drone to bring me something to read.

Discuss in the Amazon Drone Delivery forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: New York Times]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Castor Beans Making Sustainable 3D Printed Eyewear Possible

Shine On: Trumpf Sales Stay Level at €3.5 Billion for 2020



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

Epic Games Buys Sketchfab: Analysis

Epic Games has acquired Sketchfab, an online platform for displaying 3D content. The site has over 4 million files on display and 5 million members. With Sketchfab, companies, designers, and...

Digital Manufacturing Company Fast Radius Goes Public with $1.4B SPAC Agreement

Another day, another SPAC in the additive manufacturing community! While our Executive Editor Joris Peels had originally wondered if BASF might acquire Fast Radius, the cloud manufacturing and digital supply...

Essentium Acquires Collider & its Hybrid DLP 3D Printing Technology

Industrial high speed 3D printing solutions provider Essentium has been working on expanding to meet demands for the last few years, receiving serious investments, partnering with other companies, and even...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.