Quick: What’s the worst part about Amazon?
That’s right! Sometimes things can take, like, a day or two to get to you. But what if you need that loofah right now?
Don’t worry, Prime’s got you, bro.
Amazon Prime Air, the drone driven delivery service that Amazon has been quietly testing for the last few years, made it’s first delivery a week ago. The contents? Nobody knows, but the delivery was successful. They even made a video commemorating the event.
So apparently, while we’ve been waiting for days for loofahs, like suckers, Amazon was running a private test project in the Cambridge area of England, which doesn’t look like it has any places where you can get loofahs. The company set up a small, nondescript fulfillment center, which doubles as a hanger for their electrically-powered drone fleet. Flying over the lush, England countryside, the drone, probably carrying a loofah or something, completed its mission to one of its two customers.
The company promises that the program will be expanding from here. Hopefully, soon, we’ll live our fantasy of looking into the sky and seeing an army of drones carrying an army of loofahs.
Apparently, Google's parent company Alphabet has a hankering for some guac, because they've just invested in burrito drone delivery specifically for Chipotle.
The research team is currently working on the safety and logisitics of flying a burrito and keeping it hot.
Well, we've almost fixed everything...
Lazy Kiwi's can rejoice! Domino's Pizza has chosen Auckland, New Zealand as the first place they are going to test out drone pizza delivery!
The DRU drone, by maker Flirtey looks pretty good for the task, and we're hoping it will carry a heated bag so we don't get our pie's tepid at our door.
Because nothing's worse than limp pizza.
Read more about Domino's autonomous delivery vehicle innovations here.
Parrot's new Disco drone is now for sale!
The drone has impressive new specs for the market:
-Removable wings that resemble a hawk in flight:
-Ultralight, 725 g (1.6 lb)
-Made from expanded polypropylene
-Extended 45-minute flight time (compared to the 20 to 25 minutes most drones run)
-Speeds up to 50 mph (80 km/h), killing average 37 mph (60 km/h) drone speeds
-First-person view (FPV) capability, where a nose-camera live streams the drone's view back to a set of virtual reality goggles
Grab it here for just under $1,300, just don't fall down a mountain in those goggles.
The area in Cornwall, England where this mine shaft opened up is known for its extensive mining history. This house used to be a location that was mined for tin, or maybe copper before the mine shafts in the area were filled in and it became a neighborhood. Stuart Dann, a mining expert in the area told The Daily Mail that no one knows about the mine shafts that used to be in the area until they check a very old map:
It is easy to see the woods, fields and houses and assume nothing was there. If you go back to 1750, the area was completely different - there were dozens of engine houses and hundreds of shafts in the area, which probably looked a bit like a desert.
As mines closed, many put very large bits of timber across shafts and backfilled them, thinking this would be safe. Gradually all evidence of the engine houses and covered shafts went and we and builders before us assumed there was nothing there - apart from on the old maps of course.The old maps often clearly detail the layout of various mines and where shafts are. It is these maps which mean the difference between buying a house which might fall down a hole, or one which sits on firm ground.
Thankfully, this mine shaft opened during a survey of the house before it was put up for sale. The house may never be able to be sold now, half the garage and the patio have disappeared down the mine shaft and surveyors are worried about the permanent damaged to the house.
Drones are pretty cool but in the wrong hands they can do some pretty scary things, like spy on people or drop any number of harmful things on an unsuspecting public. Or this:
The point is, it's important to have a defense against drones. That's why the Dutch National Police force have started training eagles to take down drones and look awesome doing it. These birds of prey are the perfect weapon to take down a drone because of their super strong talons and the fact that they can fly.
The only problem so far is that the drone blades could still injure the eagles which means someday our future may include armored eagles.
As if having a courier deliver booze to you within an hour wasn't enough, Amazon has announced Amazon Prime Air, a near-instant service that will bring your impulse buys to you by drone!
Amazon Prime Air is a future service that will deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones. Flying under 400 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds, Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more.
No word yet on when the service will become publicly available, as Amazon says it will take time to implement, "but [they] will deploy when [they] have the regulatory support needed to realize [their] vision."
Thirty minutes or less means an unmanned drone will bring me ice cream before it has a chance to melt, right?
The parking lot at an IHOP in Mississippi wanted to get in on that all-you-can-eat pancakes deal.
So it ate 12 cars.
From the Associated Press:
Emergency crews were called to the IHOP restaurant in Meridian on Saturday evening and found a section of parking lot about 35 feet wide and 400 feet long had collapsed. Cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles had dropped into the gash in the earth, which appeared to be about 15 feet deep.
No injuries were reported.
Big things are happening in Meridian, Mississippi.
Illustrator and designer Renee Lusano captured this harrowing video from a drone as her group was nearly washed away in a flash flood in Maui.
About 2 miles into a hike into the forrest called "Commando," it started to rain. But the group continued on their trek to a jungle waterfall. The group reached the waterfall and started to swim.
Then THIS happened.
"Then suddenly without warning there was an enormous rush of water coming over the waterfall, it had to have been instantly 50 times as much water rushing over, and the water was flowing fast."
Lusano was able to capture the entire scene via drone while scrambling to find the rest of her group, some of which had been swept into the waterfall by the currents.
Eventually the group was able to find a patch of dry land to call 911 and get airlifted out of the area.
Don't tase me, drone.
North Dakota decided to keep their hands clean and let the drones do all of the dirty work as they approved police use of tasers, rubber bullets and more from the flying technology.
The Daily Beast dropped this terrifying little bit of information on us:
With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with "less than lethal" weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn't drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.
The bill's stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Rep. Rick Becker's bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.
Then Bruce Burkett of North Dakota Peace Officer's Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. "Less than lethal" weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.
Though they use the phrase 'less than lethal', The Daily Beast points out that it is totally possible to be killed by those techniques. At least 39 people have been killed by police tasers this year so far.
It’s not just animals who have a problem with our new obsession with drones and quadcopters.
Some drunk humans hate them too.
Last week a company based in California called Lucky 7 Drones was shooting instructional videos with a DJI Phantom 3 when a shirtless man walked over and quickly put an end to their production.
They were only flying it about 3-5 feet off the ground when he got irritated by it for some reason and swatted it out of the sky with his shirt like King Kong.
It flew into his leg before crashing down on the street, damaging the device.
It’s valued at $1350, and the company ended up filing a police report and writing about the incidenton their blog.
In California, vandalism of someone elses property over $900 is considered a FELONY! So the officers went to visit this gentleman and explained to him politely (which he did not respond to well) that they had the ability to arrest him on the spot for Felony Vandalism and that the local D.A. does prosecute those charges. They suggested he sober up and tomorrow (which would be today) he pay the necessary restitution to replace this item to avoid the criminal charges. As of Thursday afternoon, we have not heard from the gentleman.
A robotics company has unveiled a new drone that flies by itself and acts as your personal videographer.
“Lily” is described on the company’s website as the “world’s first throw-and-shoot camera.”
You place a tracking device on whatever you want the drone to follow, throw it up into the air when you’re ready to starting filming, and Lily will take it from there.
The camera shoots 1080p HD video, can snap pictures and also uses “computer vision” to monitor you. And unlike other drones, Lily will also record and sync audio through the tracking device.
The promotional video above shows the device in action, which looks pretty cool, although it probably takes a while to build up the courage to throw your expensive new gadget off a bridge.
Lily was invented back in 2013 by two students at UC Berkeley, Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow, but was officially launched Tuesday.
“It’s not the future of drones,” writes Wired, who got to test out the device. “It’s more like the future of the point-and-shoot.”
It’s currently $499 during the pre-sale, but the price will eventually go up to $999.
Ryan Chatfield was out playing with his drone on Floreat Beach in Australia this week, when its batteries died.
The videographer then sprinted after the expensive toy (he said it cost him over $2000) and managed to catch it before it took a dive in the ocean.
“I thought, ‘That’s it, it’s gone’ but I knew I just had to have a crack at it,” he told The West Australian.
And fortunately he was successful in his rescue attempt and just got a little wet in the process. He also chose the perfect song to edit into the clip using Enya’s “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away).”
You can stop stringing up those lights and nailing that Santa to your roof, because this street officially wins Christmas.
A stretch of more than 16 homes in Yucaipa, Calif. coordinated their holiday displays, which light up to music, and the entire show is being captured via drone.
"The Manning Street Christmas Music Light Show", as it is called, runs daily, and people in the area can park their cars and tune into 92.5 FM to experience it.
Coordinator Jeff Maxey uploaded a few different demo videos to his page. In addition to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" (above), watch the homes perform "Wizards in Winter" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.