Amazon is granted patent for delivery drone that can respond to human gestures (Video)

delivery drone

Amazon.com has been granted a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures.

The concept is part of Amazon’s goal to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. Issued earlier this week, the patent may help Amazon grapple with how flying robots might interact with human bystanders and customers waiting on their doorsteps.

Depending on a person’s gestures — a welcoming thumbs up, shouting or frantic arm waving — the drone can adjust its behavior, according to the patent. The machine could release the package it’s carrying, alter its flight path to avoid crashing, ask humans a question or abort the delivery, the patent says.

Among several illustrations in the design, a person is shown outside his home, flapping his arms in what Amazon describes as an “unwelcoming manner,” to show an example of someone shooing away a drone flying overhead. A voice bubble comes out of the man’s mouth, depicting possible voice commands to the incoming machine. (Amazon.com chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Continue reading “Amazon is granted patent for delivery drone that can respond to human gestures (Video)”

Norway launches drone cargo project

drone cargo

Four Norwegian technology companies are collaborating to use unmanned helicopters to carry cargo between offshore vessels and offshore installations.

The weather is a big challenge when cargo is going to be lifted with a crane between offshore vessels, rigs and other installations. The operations depend on wind, visibility, waves etc. Weather conditions at sea often lead to delays in delivering cargo, goods and equipment for offshore installations.

Continue reading “Norway launches drone cargo project”

Drone-based package delivery has environmental advantages, study shows

Drone-based package delivery

One annoyance of ordering items from the internet is waiting for delivery. That’s why many companies are set on making sure you get your items as quickly as possible — like Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping.

But shipping, especially fast, comes at an environmental cost. Previous studies have shown that moving goods by conventional aircraft is four times more carbon-intensive than by truck, which is 10 times more carbon-intensive than rail. Since many companies including Amazon, UPS, Boeing and Flirtey are working toward adding drones to speed up the delivery process and greenhouse gases are releasing into Earth’s atmosphere at an alarming rate, it’s important to look at the potential environmental footprint of delivery drones. 

A group of researchers released a study Tuesday in Nature Communicationsthat looks at energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of drone deliveries. Using a model, they found there could be environmental benefits to using drones versus trucks in some scenarios. Continue reading “Drone-based package delivery has environmental advantages, study shows”

Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference 2018 held in Kinston, North Carolina (Video)

Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference

The Unmanned Cargo Aircraft conference is underway at the Global Transpark in Kinston this week.

This is the first time the international conference has been held in the U.S.Researchers and companies from all over the world were in attendance to discuss the latest developments and trends in the industry. As technology evolves jobs and opportunities are opening up every day especially in our state. The unmanned cargo aircraft is a relatively new phenomenon. During Tuesday’s conference, manufacturers, operators and consultants are gathering to exchange ideas about moving this idea and industry further. Continue reading “Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference 2018 held in Kinston, North Carolina (Video)”

Drone Delivers Direct To Grunt – Marine Corps Hive UAV (Video)

Marine Corps Hive UAV

It was a Marine reservist, transport officer Maj. Chris Thobaben, who had the idea to repurpose the scout drones for logistics after seeing too many comrades killed or wounded on supply runs in Iraq.

DROP ZONE COCKATOO, QUANTICO: You can hear it over the roar of the wind and the distant thump of mortar rounds: the high-pitched buzz of miniature drones. I track the incoming quadcopter with my camera until I’m starting to bend backward and I realize it’s hovering directly above me. That’s my cue to move, shortly before a contractor nearby hits the “release” command on his tablet and the drone drops its cargo with a klunk: a metal ammo magazine.

The magazine is empty — no live ammunition for today’s test — but it shows what could be done. All day long here, racking up more than 400 sorties, Marines and contractors are tapping tablets to summon mini-drones from a central “Hive” to drop empty magazines, canteens and MRE ration packs on demand. Instead of the standard 96-hour cycle from requesting resupply to getting it, requests are filled in minutes. Continue reading “Drone Delivers Direct To Grunt – Marine Corps Hive UAV (Video)”

Amazon, Boeing, GE, Google announce plans to develop private UTM system for drones

UTM system

During last week’s FAA Symposium in Baltimore, Amazon, Boeing, GE, and Google announced that they are ready to start working on the development of a private Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system for drones. Testing in conjunction with NASA is supposed to start in the next three months. The system will enable swarms of drones to fly a couple of hundred feet above the ground using cellular and web applications to avoid collisions and allow for remote tracking.

A “TOTALLY DIFFERENT, NEW WAY OF DOING THINGS”

Amazon, Boeing, and Google have already expressed their visions of deliveries made by drones in the future. The companies have also started testing these new technologies on small scale. However, large-scale use of drones to make deliveries will require a robust drone traffic management system, that will prevent drones from crashing into each other or, worse, manned aircraft. Continue reading “Amazon, Boeing, GE, Google announce plans to develop private UTM system for drones”

What’s in Store for Commercial Delivery Drones

Commercial Delivery Drones

It’s Sunday night, dinner’s on the stove, and your fifth-grader suddenly remembers that she needs a costume for the Arbor Day play tomorrow morning at school.

Cue the drones.

If companies like Amazon, Google, UPS, and Alibaba have their way, drones will soon play an increasingly significant role in the “last-mile” delivery — from warehouse to doorstep — of small, light packages that a customer needs now. Given that almost 80 percent of what consumers order online weighs 5 lb or less, delivery drones could have important implications for energy consumption, public safety, privacy, air and noise pollution, and air traffic management. Continue reading “What’s in Store for Commercial Delivery Drones”

Amazon and UPS are investing big in drone deliveries

UPS

Amazon and UPS are investing big in drone deliveries

  • Drone deliveries could be faster and cheaper than existing logistics methods.
  • Companies like Amazon and UPS are investing big in developing flying robots to make deliveries.

In theory, getting a recent purchase delivered in mere minutes is every consumer’s dream.

In practice? It’s not exactly easy to do.

The logistics are complex and intense. The regulatory hurdles are steep and covered with red tape. And like autonomous vehicles, the technology is already capable of the task at hand – however, it will take time to build acceptance and trust with customers to allow drones to fly onto their property for any purpose. Continue reading “Amazon and UPS are investing big in drone deliveries”

Commercial drones in U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months

package deliveries

Commercial drones in U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months

After lagging behind other countries for years, commercial drones in the U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months, according to federal regulators and industry officials.

The momentum partly stems from stepped-up White House pressure, prompting closer cooperation between the government and companies such as Amazon.com Inc. seeking authorizations for such fledgling businesses. The upshot, according to these officials, is newfound confidence by both sides that domestic package-delivery services finally appear on the verge of taking off. Continue reading “Commercial drones in U.S. are expected to begin limited package deliveries within months”

Aerospace Industries Association supports remote ID for hobby, heavy drones

drones

Aerospace Industries Association supports remote ID for hobby, heavy drones

The Aviation Rule Committee (ARC) on UAS Identification and Tracking (UAS ID) was formed in June 2017 after plans to issue rules allowing drone flights over people were frozen, suddenly, early that year.

The regulatory plan had stalled after both law enforcement and homeland security agencies expressed concerns about allowing such flights because they had no way to identify bad actors. Continue reading “Aerospace Industries Association supports remote ID for hobby, heavy drones”