Amazon unveiled its next-generation delivery drone, the MK30, on Thursday. This drone model will drop packages from 12 feet in the air. “If the drone encounters another aircraft while it’s flying, it’ll fly around that other aircraft.” “If, when it gets to its delivery location, your dog runs underneath the drone, we won’t deliver the package,” said Calsee Hendrickson, who leads product and program management for the Prime Air drone program.
The drone, dubbed MK27-2, will start making deliveries in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, by the end of 2022. The autonomous craft is about five-and-a-half feet in diameter, weighs 80 pounds, and can only carry packages that weigh less than five pounds. Any deliveries must fit inside one box that’s about the size of a shoe box. Amazon has unveiled its newest delivery drone that will soon be dropping packages from 12 feet in the air in two U.S. cities.
Once the package is loaded inside, the drone takes off vertically using six propellers. According to the business outlet, the craft then rotates into a forward position until it reaches the delivery location; at that point, it descends vertically, scans the area to make sure it’s clear and drops the box from 12 feet above the ground.
“We know our customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is safe and reliable,” Amazon said in a blog post. “Our drones can encounter new, unexpected situations and still make safe decisions—autonomously and safely.” “We’ve created a sophisticated and industry-leading sense-and-avoid system that will allow our drones to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding other aircraft, people, pets, and obstacles.”
According to Amazon, thousands of items in its vast inventory can be delivered by drone. The effort passed another milestone when the Federal Aviation Administration gave the company approval to operate the drones in August 2020.
In the meantime, the company is enthusiastic about its drone technology systems. “To sustainably deliver a vast selection of items in under an hour, and eventually within 30 minutes, at scale, drones are the most effective path to success,” they said. “We are excited about the next chapter in the Prime Air program and expanding this service to more customers in the months and years to come.”