Getting a special delivery package from Amazon.com via unmanned drones may sound pretty cool, but at least one Washington, DC, lawmaker is concerned about the possible threat such services would have on privacy.
On Sunday night, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos showed off how unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as "drones," could be used to deliver packages to people's homes in 30 minutes or less during an interview on the CBS news program "60 Minutes." (Disclosure: "60 Minutes" is produced by CBS, which also is the parent company of CNET.)
Bezos said … Read more
Boys like things that fly.
But I couldn't help thinking that Jeff Bezos's startling revelation of Amazon's octocopters on "60 Minutes" this weekend was made to help products fly from Amazon's virtual shelves on Cyber Monday.
Those with technical minds and a grasp of Federal Aviation Administration regulations will intone portentously on the legal feasibility of such an enterprise.
I'm more interested in the sort of world we might be living in if Amazon's little buzzards will be flying around delivering toasters and Arcade Fire CDs to those in urgent need.
I'… Read more
On the eve of Cyber Monday, Jeff Bezos conveniently created some buzz for Amazon with his "60 Minutes" reveal of Amazon Prime Air, an eight-propeller drone that will carry packages from the company's fulfillment centers to customers' doorsteps within 30 minutes of order placement.
Amazon drones aren't going into service anytime soon, if ever. The Federal Aviation Administration will take years to sort out the rules and regulations for commercial drones. Bezos is known for taking the long view, and he will continue to invest in turning what looks like a promotional gimmick into a business … Read more
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has tantalized shoppers with the prospect of package delivery by drones in a few years. But flying machines are already delivering dramatic protest footage in Thailand.
Anti-government protesters seeking the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra have clashed with security forces in Bangkok, leaving at least three people dead.
Amazon is testing a delivery service that uses drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes of an order being placed.
Dubbed Amazon Prime Air, the service uses 8-propeller drones about the size of a remote-controlled airplane to transport shoebox-size plastic bins from fulfillment centers to customers' homes. The service, which still requires more testing and clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, could take to the skies as soon as four to five years, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose during an interview Sunday on "60 Minutes." (Disclosure: "60 Minutes" is produced by CBS, which also is the parent company to CNET.) … Read more
The experimental, unmanned X-47B continues to get its sea legs.
The US Navy over the weekend resumed at-sea testing of the X-47B, also known as the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D), which has put a gleam in the Pentagon's eye about someday equipping carrier strike forces with autonomous aircraft. Before that day comes, the Navy needs to be very, very sure that robo-planes can work smoothly and safely amid all the other activity on and around an aircraft carrier's flight deck.
In an unspecified number of 45-minute flights, the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B performed catapult launches and arrested … Read more
The Federal Aviation Administration weighed in on the increasing civilian use of autonomous drones on Thursday. The government agency released a report outlining a roadmap for certain cases in which unmanned drones could be permissible.
In the report (pdf), with the lengthy title "Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System Roadmap," the FAA said that autonomous drones are already being used in disaster response, cargo transport, aerial mapping, and commercial photography. While drones are already buzzing around, the FAA is cautious with allowing wholesale use of the flying machines.
Unmanned drones bring up … Read more
The only way to fight a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a drone.
This seems to be the newly espoused principle of PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
It is, apparently, the beginning of the bowhunting season in Massachusetts -- and, for all I know, on the streets of San Francisco.
So PETA wants hunters to know that if they get up to nefarious, cruel, or just plain stupid activity, they might be observed by Air Angels.
These are flying spies that take the principles of modern military warfare and attempt to use them in defense of the defenseless in the wild.… Read more
If you just ordered a book from textbook rental start-up Zookal, look skyward.
Zookal has partnered with aerial-technology startup Flirtey (a joint venture between Zookal and Vimbra) to start delivering its packages to customers via unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as of next year. The technology they're using, the companies say, was previously only available to the military and to universities.
As of March 2014, customers within 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) of Sydney's central business district will be able to arrange free delivery by air from one of six hexacopters. They will have to order delivery to an outdoor area, and the drone will find the customer based on GPS coordinates sent from an Android app (an iOS app will be built after the program is launched). The UAV will hover over the location and lower the textbooks on a retractable cable, allowing the customer to detach the parcel and the drone to be on its way. The entire process could take as little as two or three minutes. … Read more