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Amazon unveils Prime Air drone delivery prototypes to schoolchildren


Amazon has demonstrated its Prime Air drone delivery service prototypes in the past week – to a bunch of schoolchildren.
The company is reported to have allowed a tour of its top secret laboratory in Cambridge to a group of school children from year five of the town’s local Steeple Morden School.

According to the Cambridge News the children – and their teachers – were allowed a tour of the company’s development facilities for Amazon’s Prime Air service, where the retailer will aim to deliver packages to people’s homes in under 30 minutes. The students were shown drone prototypes in the exclusive tour as well as being allowed to use a drone simulator and shown drone components. They were also shown 3D printing technology which allows it to make parts needed for the drone faster.

The drones are being designed to deliver packages of up to 2kg – 87% of the items that Amazon sells – and to deliver up to 15 miles away. However, Amazon still has to get over the strict regulatory and safety issues surrounding drone delivery, despite the Civil Aviation Authority relaxing drone flying restrictions in July so that testing can begin.

The company has more than a dozen prototypes that it has developed in its research and development labs, which are based in the US, UK, Austria and Israel and is also testing the vehicles in a number of international locations.

The drones will fly under 400 feet and weigh less than 55 pounds, using sense and avoid technology, as well as a high degree of automation to operate out of the line of sight, according to Amazon.

“One day seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road,” says the company on its Prime Air holding page.

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