Duck! Here comes your Amazon delivery
PICTURE the scene: A flying robot cruises across the sky at 50mph, hovers above your garden, then descends until it is inches from the lawn and gently deposits a parcel.
You already know what is inside – because you ordered the goods from Amazon only half an hour earlier.
As a delivery method it sounds unlikely, but yesterday the online giant released footage of a prototype in action. The video, presented by ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, shows the drone being loaded up in a warehouse moments after a mother orders new football boots for her daughter.
It whooshes through the open roof of the building and up to 400ft in ‘a miracle of modern technology’, according to Clarkson – whose new show is being recorded by Amazon.
At the delivery address it descends towards a small white sheet bearing an Amazon logo which the customer has placed on the lawn and carefully drops the parcel on it.
The video says the drone will carry a package of up to 5lb and fly for 15 miles. The drones reportedly weigh up to 55lb, fuelling fears of accidents if they fly into buildings, aircraft or people. However, Clarkson says ‘sense-and-avoid technology’ will prevent any disasters.
Amazon wants to offer the Prime Air service by next summer. However, the drones are yet to get the go-ahead from regulators.
The drone, which can carry up to 5lb, ascends to 400ft and flies at 50mph towards the customer’s home
...towards the drone which is waiting for it at the bottom of a chute
...and descends towards it to gently deliver the package
Over the lawn it locates a target placed by the customer
Job done, the drone lifts off again to fly back to base
At Amazon, the parcel rolls along a conveyor belt
The package is loaded into the drone