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The future of parcel delivery isn’t trucks, it’s drones—and Amazon is on it. After the company’s first successful drone delivery back in December in the U.K., it’s continued to hone its airborne delivery techniques. This week, Amazon finally debuted its Amazon Prime Air drone delivery in the U.S. at the MARS robotics conference in Palm Springs, California. And thankfully, someone captured the momentous occasion on video, so you can experience it, too.
You can watch the short video below to see the quadcopter fly through the air, land with its package, and then fly away.
My favorite part is when, after landing on its designated landing pad, the drone slowly rises, leaving behind a “present” for its recipient. It feels very much like a creature taking a dump and then flying away, right?
Another bystander—August Home Inc.’s Jason Johnson—captured the delivery from a different angle on Periscope.
Amazon Prime Air drone delivery https://t.co/A04FSdcqRq— Jason Johnson (@jcjohnson) March 20, 2017
According to conference attendee (and CalTech astrophysicist) Corbett Moran, the package contained sunscreen.
Amazon has invested a lot of time and resources into developing its drone delivery program. Based on patent filings, it even has plans for what would happen if someone shot one out of the sky (parachutes would deploy). It has also thought about how to make drone delivery more efficient. Amazon’s solution? Deploying its drone army from a blimp, rather than one of its terrestrial shipping centers.
The service isn’t fully commercial yet, though. When it does publicly launch, Amazon’s aim is to deliver packages in under 30 minutes, using drones that can travel through the air at speeds of up to 50 mph. It would seem there are a few logistics to sort out before then, though. Cities may need to figure out how to manage drone traffic in their air space, and whether noise pollution will be an issue, for example. And without a yard, successful drone landing could be problematic.
H/T Business Insider
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.