3D Robotics

3689605335?profile=originalFrom The Verge:

Amazon has asked the Federal Aviation Administration if it can start testing delivery drones in its own facilities in a bid to speed up the rollout of its Amazon Prime Air shipping service. The company sent a letter to the FAA this week, in which it requested the opportunity to carry out research and development on the unmanned aerial vehicles designed to carry packages to Amazon customers. Currently, if the Seattle-based company wants to test new designs for its drones outside, it has to travel to one of six FAA-approved sites dotted around the country. If its request for exemption from FAA rules is granted, it would mean the company's R&D team — which includes an ex-NASA astronaut — wouldn't need to leave the Amazon campus to trial new drones.

The retail giant has been rapidly iterating on drone technology since it announced plans for unmanned aerial delivery late last year. In April, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said the company had already tested the fifth and sixth iterations of the unmanned aerial vehicles it plans to use to deliver goods, with the seventh and eighth being designed. In Amazon's request for exemption, it says it's now ready to test the eighth- and ninth-generation vehicles.

In the same document, Amazon offers up some details about its planned delivery drones, saying that it plans for them to be capable of travelling over 50 miles per hour while carrying up to 5 pounds worth of products. CThe request for exemption also states that drones will remain within line of sight of observers during testing, and will stop their journey and return to a specific point if their communications link is severed.

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  • T3

    Isn't the whole point of these testing grounds so the FAA can keep tabs on this stuff and ensure a safe location to test? Considering the testing grounds are brand new I think it would undermine the entire idea of proving grounds to grant such an exemption. 

  • Have they even flown anything, yet?

  • My stock 3DR Iris has clocked 47 mph in sport mode.

    Is that in freefall?  Tailwind? ;)

    I've had my Trex 500 up to 78mph, straight and level, zero wind. 

  • This is just for publicity. What happens when the drone lands in a yard full of kids?

  • no they're call certifications right now but it's more or less the same thing. 

  • huh?

    There are no drone licences in the US... there is no legal framework whatsoever which is what the FAA is struggling with.

    At some point their might be, but have no illusions they don't exist right now.

  • @ euan ramsay
    easy answer no the FAA won't stop this.

    the FAA rules do NOT stop commercial use of drone it just makes users get licences, the airframes have to get inspected and file flight paths just like every other aircraft in the sky.

  • Moderator

    interesting that the letter and all the reasoning for the exemption are also published. 

    Maybe all the US based operators should use the same format and keep the FAA busy for a while with their own exemption requests. 

    Personally I dont see any difference between the Amazon testing and the activities at a local flying site. (except the "additional security measures to keep outsiders away" 

    What good for them should be good for you. 

  • Naturally this will be rejected because it's commercial use.

    Won't it?
  • My stock 3DR Iris has clocked 47 mph in sport mode.
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