Amazon Completes 1st Drone Delivery
Amazon just completed its first drone delivery to a customer.
— -- Amazon proved today that the sky is no longer the limit.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced via Twitter this morning that his company successfully completed its first official "Prime Air" delivery via drone to a customer in Cambridgeshire, England, on Dec. 7, and released video of the actual customer's order and subsequent flight.
In the video, a man named "Richard B" is shown ordering some must-have items -- an Amazon Fire TV and Propercorn Sweet and Salty Popcorn -- and with the tap of his finger on his Amazon Kindle device, his items are instantly pulled and packaged from an Amazon warehouse in the area.
After the package is added to the drone, "an electrically powered Amazon drone makes its way down an automated track and then rises into the sky with the customer's package on board," according to Amazon.
The autonomous drone then flies toward its destination, and while there are limits in place right now for the drone -- it has to fly below 400 feet and can't carry more than 5 pounds -- it uses GPS and "sense and avoid" technology to safely fly across the sky.
Thirty minutes later, the video shows Richard running out to greet his package, which has just landed gently on his front lawn.
Currently, Amazon is only fulfilling orders from two customers, but it hopes to expand to dozens and eventually hundreds more who live near its U.K. facility. And while it is already testing the actual drones in the United States, the U.K., Austria and Israel, Amazon said it expects to expand customer trials in other nations as well.
This customer/drone-delivery system is still in beta testing, with many restrictions in place, including the type of weather and conditions they can fly in -- daylight hours with low winds and good visibility.
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