It was about four year ago that the head honchos at ecommerce giant #Amazon first talked about using drones for delivery. No one quite realised how serious these folks were about their intentions nor did they did know about their level of preparedness. Till at the end of last year Amazon delivered it’s first drone assisted package to a customer in the United Kingdom. Part of a service that they call Amazon #PrimeAir it is a still a work in progress with restrictions on distance (ten mile radius from an Amazon delivery centre) and weight(has to be less than five pounds) There are legal hurdles to be crossed in the US where #UAVs cannot be used for commercial purposes and questions about privacy that need addressing too. But hey, Rome was not built in a day. One thing is sure. The future of drones is bright and in the next decade we are going to seem these flying robots become a part of our daily lives. Like never before.
A full month before Amazon American pizza maker #Domino’s had already made it’s first ever drone assisted #PizzaDelivery to a resident in New Zealand. For the record the delivery took a mere five minutes. With Australia, Belgium, France, and Japan to follow suit getting piping hot food of your choice delivered within minutes could soon become a reality. Meanwhile in the American state of #Indiana startup company #PrecisionDrone is making drones that are changing the way agriculture is done forever. Farmers trained by the startup are employing these #Hexcopters (which makes them withstand strong wind gusts) to monitor acres of their farms more effectively. This results in better yields, is less time consuming and without much damage to the environment even. With agricultural drone set to become a multi billion dollar industry in the years to come things will only get better. And better.
Then there is this startup (based in the Silicon Valley) called #ZiplineInternational that has tied up with the local government. The idea is to use these drones to send essentials like medicine and even blood to far flung corners of this tiny country in Africa called #Rwanda which are inaccessible by roads. Quite impressively the company’s customised drones called #Zips are said to be capable of travelling distances of over 70 miles carrying a payload of about 20 odd pounds. All this in a single charge. What is promising is that big companies that were wary of investing in UAVs due to stringent norms are now keen to enter the fray what with the regulatory bodies removing many of these restrictions. Thanks to which getting a license for a drone is becoming as simple as getting a driver’s license. Criminals always known to stay a step forward have also realised the many benefits of these drones. Reports are coming in from the United States of drones used increasingly to supply drugs and porn to inmates in jails. Thus stressing the need for checks and balances for drones to be enforced.
Amidst all this a bit of a dampener is the news that US technology giant #Google has temporarily stopped work in it’s much hyped #ProjectTitan that aimed to use solar energy powered drones to power the farthest corners of the world with internet connectivity. In their own words, it is simply not economically feasible. But not to worry for it’s rival #Facebook is making steady progress in tests on it’s very own solar powered drones. Tentatively called the #Aquila if everything goes well this ambitious project will see these drones stay up in space for months beaming internet to all and sundry. Now that is something to really look forward to.