Drone Delivery - Fact Or Publicity Stunt?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Drone Delivery  -  Fact Or Publicity Stunt?

Is Amazon Prime Air just a huge, and very successful, publicity stunt?

With all the horror stories we hear about Drones being used in military applications it's so good to hear that they can have a more beneficial use!

The technology behind these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs, is at such an advanced, and ever increasing, level that more uses are being discovered for them almost every day, it seems. As with most technologies the production costs tend to reduce steadily with time, bringing smaller versions into the budgets of more people and organizations.

I was reading just recently that Amazon are testing miniature drones to deliver small packages direct to the buyer's home. They have even released a video demonstrating such a vehicle and just how it might be used. They call it Amazon Prime Air!

I must admit that I had to check my calendar in case it was April 1st. But no, that's a few months off yet. Was this a genuine proposal for the way small items will be delivered to the home in the future, or something more 'tongue in cheek'? A publicity stunt, perhaps.

The hardware demonstrated was obviously real enough. It didn't look like some cheap faked-up item put together just to make the video. And it appeared to accomplish, at least part in part, what was suggested it would be used for. It was seen picking up an item to be delivered, from a conveyor belt, and flying off with it. This part, to me, didn't look completely convincing as the second and subsequent packages arrived at the end of the conveyor belt only to find there were no more drones to carry them away. Maybe they were on 'back-order'!

The drone is then shown flying off into the blue yonder, high into the air, and away. It travels over fields and trees before it eventually arrives at the front door of a house. It hovers over the path leading to the front door behind which the recipients of the product are awaiting its arrival. After landing near the front porch the drone releases its yellow colored cargo and promptly takes off again. Presumably to fly back to the distribution depot from where it came. Maybe to pick up that second yellow box which is probably still waiting on the conveyor belt.

All very neat and tidy. But there are a few things that could quite easily disrupt this 'flight of fancy'.

  • Weather – Stormy weather would ground any such flights.
  • Obstacles along the route - Power lines etc.
  • Poor landing area - Not everyone lives in a house with a suitable landing pad.
  • Secure drop off – A bright yellow package could be an open invitation to any passing thief.
  • Interference from the ground – Clay Pigeon or Skeet shooting comes to mind here!
  • Bird strikes – Maybe not a problem with such slow moving vehicles.
  • Navigational failure and errors – Things do sometimes go wrong with even the best systems.
  • Aviation authorities and flying permission etc. - Could they be a danger to other low-flying aircraft?
  • Delivery container return – Would the container be collected by a returning drone or handed back to a delivery driver?

With all these issues in mind it did come across as a plain, although very elaborate, publicity stunt. And a very effective one it has proved to be, too! A good bit of advertising for Amazon, but nothing more than that, surely? Pie In The Sky or just Blue Sky Thinking, at best.

Small drones are fine for flying over your neighbor's back yard and causing a fair degree of upset by so doing or maybe for taking aerial photos – although hopefully not of your neighbors. Perhaps simply for the joy of enjoying powered flight on a small scale.

But then I found out about Matternet!

MatterNet is an organisation formed to build and develop drones specifically to deliver drugs and medical supplies to remote areas where road transport is poor, or in some cases, totally impassable during part of the year.

MatterNet is already testing these drones, along with 'air traffic control' systems and landing and taking off stations, in areas of the world where, for instance, Aids is prevalent and diagnosis and urgent treatment is often hindered by poor communications.

Test flights have been made and have proved successful. These drones can carry up to 2 Kilos over distances of up to10KM. A journey that could take many hours by road or even longer on foot, actually takes just 15 minutes by drone! The cost of such a delivery is said to be just a few cents!

There are plans for these medical supplies delivery drones to extend their reach by calling in to landing stations en-route to change batteries before going on to their final destination.

It is even suggested that bigger drones, that can carry heavier pay loads further, are also being developed to further improve the capabilities of these systems. These drones would be used not just in the bush but also in cities to get medical supplies directly to the doctor and patient, so avoiding delays caused by traffic congestion etc.

It sounds like something out of one of those science fiction movies where the city skyline is streaked with aerial vehicles criss-crossing the sky between high-rise buildings, all under the control of some autonomous, unseen system.

Science fiction? Well maybe not. Maybe it is actually something we will all see more of in the future.

So it is possible that Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery system publicity stunt, if that's what it was, may be a lot nearer to becoming reality than we may have thought!

(Image courtesy of MatterNet)

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Brother Printer Technical Support – A Few Clicks Can Resolve Your Any Complicated Issue
Maintaining its head office in Nagoya, Japan, Brother is a big name in providing an exclusive variety of electronic devices and products that include Printers, Machine Tools, Fax Machines, Typewriters and various other computed pertaining peripherals. This printer machine comes in different models Multi-function, Wireless Brother Printers, label and Laser/LED…
By: UK Tech Number in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Jun 06, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Portable External Hard Drive
The most useful external hard drives in the market are the portable hard drives. They are easy to carry and come in handy. Even though they are small in size, their storage capacity is quite big. Physical Size Portable external hard drives and laptop hard drives are the same in…
By: Procurepod in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 28, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Logitech H600 Wireless Headphones Reviews: Wireless Free Life
The world's most famous computer peripherals suppliers Logitech is also famous in PC multimedia entertainment design manufacturers. With the development of multimedia entertainment, Logitech followed the market pace, attaches great importance to the game, multimedia and network audio-visual AIDS develops. In order to adapt to the current consumption trend, greatly…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 28, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Cool Ideas To Purchase Gadgets For Family Of Friends - Get Great Deals With Amazon, Deal Extreme, Ebay And Gizzmo Heaven
Cool Ideas To Purchase Gadgets For Family of Friends- Get Great Deals With Amazon, Deal Extreme, eBay and Gizzmo Heaven Nothing is more appealing to tech lovers than a tech oriented gadget and with eBay voucher codes, Deal Etreme promotional codes, Gizzmo Heaven discount vouchers and Amazon coupon codes you…
By: patsy in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 23, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Choosing The Right Gun Holster
Have you just purchased a gun or rifle and excited to start out with concealed carry? Great! Now that you are done with the permits and buying a gun, there are a few other things left to figure out. For instance, how do you plan to carry your gun? For…
By: Shawn Deny in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 19, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Buy Cheap Laptops In Laptop Outlet’s Spring Savings
Laptop Outlet’s Spring Savings promotion is the perfect opportunity to buy Cheap Laptops from a range of leading manufactures such as Toshiba, Lenovo, ASUS and HP. Here are the top picks of affordable laptops from the Spring Savings: 1) Lenovo Ideapad 100 15.6" Windows 10 Laptop Intel Celeron N2840 4GB…
By: Emma Watson3 in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 18, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Computer/device Screen Repair
Many computers, tablets and phones make use of old and modern screens. These devices, when in need of repair, factor from the different screen types, screen replacement and repair prices. Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that there are different types of screens that are in use in the market.…
By: Khan in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 18, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Hitachi Data Systems (hds) Upgrades With NAS Functionality And Cloud As A Storage Tier
Hitachi Data Systems has recently announced that it has added the native NAS function to its VSP G series i.e. VSP G400, G600, G800, on a controller card, as well as cloud as a storage tier through the Hitachi Content Platform. Formerly, the NAS had to be added through discrete…
By: Procurepod in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 05, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Lenovo Thinkpad T61 Laptop Reviews
14-inch widescreen ThinkPad T61 widescreen is very similar with the past ThinkPad T60, there is almost no difference between them from the appearance. Only a few small details (such as the body of the Logo) has changed, but the most important change is internal body changes, where we observed the…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   May 05, 2016  
  Likes: 0

The Difference Between Thinkpad T410 And Thinkpad T400
Compared with the previous T400 series, T410 change is two parts or even many parts, the first is the hardware platform fully upgraded to the new Core platform 32nm process. Secondly, the change of appearance make this product looks more like T400s upset version. And more humanized performance upgrade, allowing…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Apr 29, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Thinkpad T410 Full Evaluation: Redemption for the Lenovo
Over the years T-Series has been lasted for a development road of volume and performance, not as thin as X series, not as large as R series. For the performance, ThinkPad series aimed at the mainstream crowd, more tend to business users, with a good processor, high storage performance, so…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Apr 28, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Effects Of Lto - 7 on the Total Cost Of Ownership (tco) Of Long - term Storage
The fast pace development in information and technology has rendered many useful things useless, while also creating a dilemma for the consumer whilst making product choices. Every consumer now needs to get to know a product thoroughly before making the purchase, the consumer needs to compare it with every other…
By: Procurepod in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Apr 27, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Philadelphia Computer Services
Computer repair involves specialization in troubleshooting, examination and repair of a variety of hardware and software issues, in addition to computer network problems. Computer repair services includes a wide range of IT services, computer support and management for small to medium sized businesses. Scorpion Computer Repair is a Philadelphia’s firm…
By: John138 in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Apr 26, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Thinkpad T520 Reviews: The Most Professional Business Notebook
In terms of design, Lenovo ThinkPad T520 is the same with other T-series models, pure black appearance conform to the requirements of the business is composed of notebook computer, the overall design simple models competent, prominent business temperament, and continued the ThinkPad T series of classic design. Matte painting process…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Apr 13, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Thinkpad T500 Reviews: Only 15 Inch T61 Upgraded Version?
ThinkPad T500 Series products consist of a 15.4 inches screen, and so on 14.1-inch T400, X200 product is 12.1 inches. This coming question is, why would its ThinkPad product line began to use size line to be divided? Speculates that the reason from two aspects: the first is lenovo’s IdeaPad…
By: AlikDiana in  Computers and Technology  >  Hardware   Apr 08, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1542    Report this Article