‘Killer drones’ to become delivery boys

Published December 3, 2013
This undated image provided by Amazon.com shows the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project that Amazon is working on in its research and development labs. — Photo by AP
This undated image provided by Amazon.com shows the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project that Amazon is working on in its research and development labs. — Photo by AP
An Amazon PrimeAir drone is shown in this publicity photo released to Reuters on December 2, 2013. Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos told the CBS television program "60 Minutes" that the company is testing the use of delivery drones that could deliver packages that weigh up to five pounds, which represents roughly 86 per cent of packages that Amazon delivers, he said.     — Photo by Reuters
An Amazon PrimeAir drone is shown in this publicity photo released to Reuters on December 2, 2013. Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos told the CBS television program "60 Minutes" that the company is testing the use of delivery drones that could deliver packages that weigh up to five pounds, which represents roughly 86 per cent of packages that Amazon delivers, he said. — Photo by Reuters
This undated image provided by Amazon.com shows the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project that Amazon is working on in its research and development labs. Amazon says it will take years to advance the technology and for the Federal Aviation Administration to create the necessary rules and regulations, but CEO Jeff Bezos said Sunday Dec. 1, 2013,  there's no reason drones can't help get goods to customers in 30 minutes or less. — Photo by AP
This undated image provided by Amazon.com shows the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project that Amazon is working on in its research and development labs. Amazon says it will take years to advance the technology and for the Federal Aviation Administration to create the necessary rules and regulations, but CEO Jeff Bezos said Sunday Dec. 1, 2013, there's no reason drones can't help get goods to customers in 30 minutes or less. — Photo by AP

NEW YORK, Dec 2: The so-called “killer drones” are about to become “delivery boys”. The owner of Amazon, the world’s largest online store, has said his company is testing drones to deliver goods as it works to improve efficiency and speed in getting products to consumers.

The head of Amazon.com unveiled the plan on CBS’s TV “60 Minutes” news programme on Sunday night showing the flying machines that can serve as delivery vehicles.

Experimentation with delivery by drones is part of a shift from the craft’s use by the US military to spy on and kill suspected terrorists which has become more contentious through the years. The drones are being used by the US military and CIA in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Amazon said the gadgets, called octocopters, could carry as much as five pounds within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfilment centre. Amazon may start using the drones, which can make a delivery within 30 minutes, within five years, pending Federal Aviation Administration approval.

“It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” the Amazon chief said.

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