Late Sunday evening, Amazon’s CEO, Mr. Jeff Bezos announced to the world that Amazon is contemplating delivery of packages by unmanned drones.
Mr. Bezos said the drones, called Octocopters, are unmanned vehicles that will fly through the air and could deliver packages that weigh up to five pounds (2.3 kg). He also said that, that represents around 86 percent of the total packages that Amazon delivers.
Here’s a sample video that Amazon posted on its YouTube page explaining the working of Octocopters.
Mr. Bezos announced that the drones will be able to deliver the packages in about 30 minutes from the time the user places an order. However, he further added, that it may take another 4-5 years for them to be able to begin the services.
Their first and foremost hindrance will be getting the permission from US Regulators. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which has approved the use of unmanned drones for police and government agencies, is yet to approve the use of unmanned drones for civilian purposes.
What happens if the drones collide with a bird or some other object? What happens if the goods are damaged in transit? What happens if the goods are stolen in transit or the destination of the drones are re-assigned by hackers? These are some of the problems that Amazon may face and have to overcome.
As of now, the ones who’d be hit big time if these drones are employed seems to be the courier services. However, there’s still a long time to go.
Twitter was instantly abuzz with a lot of wise-cracks after the news broke out. Some of the gems are:
Wow. Amazon to use drones to deliver stuff in 30 minutes. Seriously, amaze on, amaze on. http://t.co/9kT9JnTaBP
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) December 2, 2013
Can’t imagine the number of Amazon drones that’ll get stuck in electricity wires while attempting deliveries in India
— Khamba (@gkhamba) December 2, 2013
And what happens when a drone misses the delivery? This.
I missed an Amazon drone delivery. pic.twitter.com/neJxYANj6p
— B to A to the R R Y (@QuantumPirate) December 2, 2013
(First published at The Viewspaper, an online magazine.)