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Old 07-12-2014, 11:11 AM   #1
sirmaru
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Amazon to start testing drone delivieries

See this article:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/0...=15417582&_r=0

"In a filing with the Federal Aviation Administration that got widespread attention Friday, Amazon asked for permission to test its drone delivery system outdoors, a practice that is banned for safety reasons."

Our 2014 Kindles MAY be coming by drone delivery later this year.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
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Are you able to summarise what a drone delivery is?

When I think of a drone I think of a pilotless aircraft being directed by someone on the ground .... so what is meant by Amazon having/using drones?
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lynx-lynx View Post
When I think of a drone I think of a pilotless aircraft being directed by someone on the ground .... so what is meant by Amazon having/using drones?
That's it.

Supposedly they would deliver packages that way.

While I guess it could eventually be perfected, there are difficult safety issues. It is hard for me to see it working in a built-up area with lots of trees and utility wires. See this excellent investigatory article from Jeff Bezos's newspaper:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/inv...-from-the-sky/

Quote:
Public opposition has centered on civil-liberties concerns, such as the morality and legality of using drones to spy on people in their back yards. There has been scant scrutiny of the safety record of remotely controlled aircraft. A report released June 5 by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there were “serious unanswered questions” about how to safely integrate civilian drones into the national airspace, calling it a “critical, crosscutting challenge.”

Nobody has more experience with drones than the U.S. military, which has logged more than 4 million flight hours. But the Defense Department tightly guards the particulars of its drone operations, including how, when and where most accidents occur.

The Post filed more than two dozen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Responding intermittently over the course of a year, the military released investigative files and other records that collectively identified 418 major drone crashes around the world between September 2001 and the end of last year.
I think that having drones repeatedly come down to ground level, to drop off a package near a doorstep, and then go up high, and then come down again, over and over, would be an even bigger safety challenge than military operations.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 07-12-2014 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Thanks Steve

I can't really imagine an Amazon 'drone' dropping in on say a multi storey workplace in a busy city (any) by landing on the footpath, going through a revolving door and going up to the Reception Desk for a parcel drop off .....

But hey, who knows ....

(I'm clearly limited by my imagination)

Last edited by Lynx-lynx; 07-12-2014 at 09:05 PM. Reason: add the word 'busy' and the last bit
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:20 PM   #5
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:48 PM   #6
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The house in that video doesn't look like a monkey home to me. At least, not a home to any monkey who usually gets his books from the library

Even most other McMansions aren't going to have such as clear run in to the front porch.

Interesting how the Amazon video left out any view of the pilot flying the thing. Yes, they need a highly skilled pilot. There will be self-driving cars with no humans inside before there are self-piloting planes swooping down into residential neighborhoods.

My interpretation of the drone thing is as a threat to UPS and FedEx of what could happen if they don't give Amazon the discounts and speed of delivery it demands. But it's an idle threat, because the FAA isn't playing, and, if they did, state and local government, and the utilities in whose wires the gadget may get caught, would take a quite literal NIMBY stance.

Now, if I'm wrong -- Is there any law against a Hachette author whose advance buy button was taken away throwing a rock at the thing?

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 07-12-2014 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
Now, if I'm wrong -- Is there any law against a Hachette author whose advance buy button was taken away throwing a rock at the thing?
I wouldn't throw anything at one of those. I'm sure they have a contingency plan for that.

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Old 07-12-2014, 11:17 PM   #8
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So, instead of someone stealing the package off my front step, they will steal the drone too? I get my packages delivered to work because there is too much chance of the packages not being there when I get home. I have considered shipping a package of used cat litter to my house in the hope that the package thieves steal it.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:11 AM   #9
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Wow, I can imagine the vet bills when the dogs and cats get a hold of those things.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
See this article:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/0...=15417582&_r=0

"In a filing with the Federal Aviation Administration that got widespread attention Friday, Amazon asked for permission to test its drone delivery system outdoors, a practice that is banned for safety reasons."

Our 2014 Kindles MAY be coming by drone delivery later this year.
Nonsense. There is no way that you can go from "seeking permission to test something" to commercial operation in a few months, especially given the fact that it would require a change in the law in order to be legal.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:23 AM   #11
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I wanna look up in the sky and see black Amazon drones buzzing around the Space Needle
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:26 AM   #12
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I really don't see the point of this at all. Even in countries where such drones are perfectly legal - eg the UK - people only use them for aerial photography, not for transporting stuff from "A" to "B". Their flight time is too short (typically 10-15 minutes) for that.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:30 AM   #13
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I really don't see the point of this at all. Even in countries where such drones are perfectly legal - eg the UK - people only use them for aerial photography, not for transporting stuff from "A" to "B". Their flight time is too short (typically 10-15 minutes) for that.
It's still experimental. Give it time and things will improve immensely.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:33 AM   #14
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I wanna know how Amazon plans to retrieve those little yellow boxes.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:40 AM   #15
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I suspect the drone deliveries will be to Amazon centres rather than households.
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