Amazon to deliver packages by drones

The mini-drones can pick up items in small yellow buckets and fly them directly to customers�™ doorsteps.

Amazon is undertaking an experimental project aimed at delivering packages via drones, the company�™s chief executive says.

Appearing on CBS television’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday, Jeff Bezos played a video from their website which showed mini drones called �œoctocopters” picking up items in small yellow buckets and flying them directly to customers�™ doorsteps.

“I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not,” Bezos said. “We can do half-hour delivery … and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86 percent of the items that we deliver.”

“It’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around,” he added.

One reason behind the notion of using mini-drones for delivery purposes, Bezos said, was to ensure that Amazon has the edge over other companies working the retail industry.

The drones are powered by electric motors and can cover areas within a 16-kilometer radius of fulfillment centers. That means the drones can cover a significant portion of the population residing in urban areas in the United States.

The octocopters have a claw at the bottom which allows them to pick up packages and carry them to people�™s homes.

In order to proceed with its plan, Amazon needs to convince federal regulators that the device is safe and would not lead to excessive congestion.

Law professor Ryan Calo, who has written extensively about drones, said that this is exactly the kind of application which caused Congress in 2012 to order the Federal Aviation Administration to open the sky to commercial drones, although there are strict limits on the use of drones for commercial purposes.

“By 2015, the FAA has to come up with a set of rules that integrates just the kind of thing that Amazon is talking about” into the national airspace, Calo said.

AT/HJ

Source: Press TV