Amazon’s development with drones
How long will it be before a drone carrying a package from Amazon arrives at your door? If Jeff Bezos, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon, has his way, it could be pretty soon. His tech company is constantly working towards making this scenario a reality, as can be seen by numerous patents for drone applications in the past few years.
Before we at SEO company Warrington tell you more about the patents, we’d like to explain how Jeff first talked about drone delivery back in 2013.
What’s the history behind Amazon’s drone plans?
At web design company Warrington, we notice that Jeff initially discussed drone delivery on the American news programme 60 Minutes five years ago. At that time, he suggested the drones could be operational in four to five years – so that would indicate that he was hoping the technology would be with us by 2018.
He said the drones…
- could carry products weighing up to five pounds within a ten-mile radius from one of the company’s fulfilment centres
- would use GPS coordinates to find specific locations
- would be ecological, because they wouldn’t burn fuel in the way a delivery van does
The Cambridgeshire trial in 2016
In December 2016, Amazon launched a customer trial in Cambridgeshire for Prime Air, a service that used drones to deliver packages weighing up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less.
At SEO company Warrington, we think it’s worth mentioning that the first person in the world to receive a drone delivery was a Cambridgeshire man, known as “Richard B”.
He received his parcel on 7 December 2016, and it contained a Fire TV control and a bag of popcorn. The promotional video for the launch is still available to view online, and it still makes for interesting viewing.
What does the promotional video look like?
The footage shows a drone being loaded up and then travelling down an automated track. It then takes to the air, while the narrator explains that “these drones are autonomous – from take off to landing, they operate completely on their own”. They cruise quietly below 400 feet and they’re guided by GPS.
The drones for this trial looked impressive, but at our web design company Warrington we think we should highlight that they came with some limitations.
Namely, they could only fly in daylight hours, and in the right weather conditions. Also, they were only delivering to two customers at the start of the trial, although there was a plan to expand that figure to dozens.
What about Amazon’s latest drone patents?
At SEO company Warrington, we know that if you Google the phrase “Amazon drone patents” you’ll be presented with a list of stories all about the patents it has been awarded for its drone plans.
The tech company has been awarded at 64 patents, based on records collated in 2017, and these patents cover the following areas:
- aircraft design
- safety systems
- methods for transferring goods
- transporting drones to hive-like fulfilment centres
According to one article written in September 2018, the company is working on a solution to the issue that high-quality drones usually stay in the air for only 30 minutes. So, Amazon has filed a patent for a drone that can recharge itself while it’s still flying. It’s a concept similar to a wind turbine, with propellers that generate energy as they spin. It’s thought they would be suitable for drones that could deliver milk.
Other patents have also made the news this year. One allows drones to react to human gestures, such as waving your arms and yelling; and another helps the security of drones and stops them being hijacked by thieves.
It remains to be seen how many of these patents become a reality, but you have to applaud Amazon for the scale of its ambition.
At SEO company Warrington, we create highly functional and engaging websites and offer services in drone media, digital marketing, content creation and apps. Call us today on 01925 552050 or fill in the form below.