Amazon Reveals Delivery Drone Program at re:MARS
Even after announcing a move from two-day Prime shipping to just one day, Amazon is determined to pump out deliveries even faster. Today at the first re:MARS Conference (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) in Las Vegas, Amazon let us in on some of the new projects they’ve been working on including the latest Prime Air delivery drones.
Amazon stressed the extreme safety measures their team took in the creation of the drones, and revealed that virtually all of the software and hardware stack was made in-house. The drones come packed with diverse sensors, advanced algorithms and proprietary computer-vision to detect both stationary and moving objects that may be in their path. The rotors of the drone are covered in shrouds that also serve as wings, and the aircraft is controlled with six degrees of freedom (compared to the standard four).
“We know customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is incredibly safe. So we’re building a drone that isn’t just safe, but independently safe, using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies,” said Amazon’s consumer worldwide CEO Jeff Wilke.
Coming down, the drones act much like a helicopter, using proprietary computer-vision and machine learning algorithms. They can navigate around some of the most difficult to detect obstacles like clotheslines and electrical wires, to safely land in a clear, designated landing area. The tilting design gives the drone the ability to fly forward, take off and land all while keeping a package safe and secure in the middle fuselage area.
Amazon did not reveal a specific time frame for the Prime Air drones, but Wilke said that they would be taking flight in a matter of months. The release will also build on Amazon’s mission to achieve net zero carbon for all shipments with a goal to get halfway there by 2030.