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Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 8:40 AM

i see many reasons this isnt functional plan:

1. every house in my neighborhood has 3 wires going to it - power, phone, and cable. how can the drone avoid all those wires?

2. what if a kid stands under the drone and gets crushed?

3. what if a kid hangs onto the drone while it tries to take off?

4. what if every corner liquor store and 7-11 wants to use delivery drones?

5. my yard is full of trees, there is no safe place for the drone to land or to drop stuff without landing.

6. what if kids throw rocks at the drone, or ganstas shoot at the drone?

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#1

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 9:02 AM

I have been pretty satisfied with Amazon's delivery using FedEx and UPS.

Is this going to save me money?

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#2

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 9:04 AM

Isn't that for Amazon to find out?

Kids are the least of the problem! (They should be in school!). I think all the house wifes will be upset if the delivery man is replaced . . .

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#3

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 9:05 AM

What if can be applied to every technology. What if your gas line leaks and your house blows up. What if your toddler stick something in an electrical out let. what if a 747 crashes in your yard.

I guess some one has to play Chicken Little.

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#4

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 9:30 AM

I suppose when cars were becoming more popular these same sort of paranoid questions were asked then too.

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#5

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 10:01 AM

1. Wires can be detected.

2. The drone and package together won't weigh enough to crush a kid.

3. A. the parents will get a call about their brat. B. It doesn't have enough lift to take off with a kid riding it.

4. Ok. So what?

5. You don't have even a few square feet of empty room? Where does your delivery service drop your packages now?

6. That is called destruction of private property, and there are already laws on the books to address that situation. Plus the FCC is probably going to kick in some more.

One thing I think you are forgetting: Unmanned does not equate to unmonitored. The drones used by the military although "unmanned", have an operator (usually) monitoring them from a far off base. For the package delivery, I would take a guess they will monitor takeoff and delivery, with the delivery being filmed to show the delivery.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 10:56 AM

What about weather?

Just how much of a cross wind can they manage?

Pretty windy in some parts of the country.

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#10
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 12:06 PM

That is a logistics problem that is not new to any aviation company. Well, that and a legal problem when the package can't be delivered. I would bet good money that Amazon's lawyers will write an all-encompassing "Acts of God" clause for that eventuality.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want 2000 drones (most if not all equipped with cameras) flying all over the city. But that wasn't the OP's questions. What if a drone squashes your kid? Seriously?

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#14
In reply to #10

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 1:37 PM

What if a drone squashes your kid? Seriously?

Don't think squash, think injure following by litigation and the media all jumping in to blow the whole incident out of proportion for their own gain.

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#17
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 2:25 PM

.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 11:55 AM

I think the whole idea is stupid. It's cheap publicity.

I also don't think the intent is to monitor these flying disasters because that wouldn't save them any money and there's no other motivation for such an insane scheme than to remove the human element from the $equation$.

It would be interesting to know how much radiation we are exposed to already, for no really beneficial purpose.

Finally to lift any meaningful payload, you looking at a rotor span of several feet and the prop wash that goes with it.

And finally, if I perceive a threat to my property, or any humans, you can bet I'll shoot first and ask permission later.

I think you are being contrary with some of your other responses, too.

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#11
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 12:24 PM

Just playing the devils advocate. I think it's is a silly idea, but that's just my opinion. If they can make money at it, they will do it.

For myself, I've never had a situation where I couldn't wait till tomorrw, or couldn't go get it from the store. So I'm not likely to ever use that service.

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#12
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 1:09 PM

There are many who would pay for such a silly service, unfortunately.

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#15
In reply to #8

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 1:56 PM

I agree on the publicity thing.

Everybody's talking about Amazon...mission accomplished.

Reminds me of the new I-Macs, (or whatever), that were "accidentally" left in random coffee shops by forgetful Apple employees. Yeah, right.

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#30
In reply to #8

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 7:36 AM

Thank you Lyn.

This is the best Amazon could come up with? Stupid Period.

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#16
In reply to #5

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 1:57 PM

I would take a guess they will monitor takeoff and delivery, with the delivery being filmed to show the delivery.

Sounds about right from a safety and current technology limitations point of view, but now you have hundreds of people sitting in front of computer screens monitoring package deliveries instead of riding bikes and actually delivering the packages locally.

Sure, drone deliveries could be faster but most light goods (books, magazines, movies, etc) could (and ARE) be delivered electronically and most other light impulse buy (impulse buy being the key point here) goods wouldn't really benefit from a slightly faster delivery.

Sure there would be special cases (there always are) where drone delivery could get into hard to reach places. Emergency service or disaster relief delivery spring to mind, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Why aren't these exceptions being pushed instead of delivery of pink nail polish by drone in 5 minutes because you are too lazy to drop by the store or didn't have the foresight to pick it up when you were their last time you went.

Yea that's what people need, less exercise and deliveries of fast food directly to your couch.

Jack - Against the consumer drone delivery thing except for special cases.

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#36
In reply to #5

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 8:46 AM

Anything flying over my property is in MY airspace without my permission and therefore is trespassing. If it gets shot down it is tough crap.

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#7

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 11:45 AM

I predict the biggest impediment to Amazon's drone plane will be the federal government. I can't imagine the FAA and possibly the EPA not putting their two cents in.

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#9

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 12:05 PM

That ship has sailed.....you can get pizza, sushi, delivered helicopterally(new word)....

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2013/jun/10/flying-tray-burgers-london-restaurant-video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on4DRTUvst0

....yeah, still a little shaky.....

Hey,,,,,is that my paper???

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 1:34 PM

Newspaper by drone is the ultimate marketing ploy insult.

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#18
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:11 PM

It's airmail....

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:21 PM

Still falls short of missile mail:

.

.

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#22
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:45 PM

That's how they should send junk mail as it only gets shredded in the end anyway.


Actually, that brings me to our very own Rut-Ro plan to save the US Postal Office from bankruptcy.

You can do your part and it only takes a few minutes of your time each week.

Simply gather all your junk mail offers together that have return envelopes.

Now stuff each envelope with the exciting offer from another junk mail sender until all envelopes are filled.

Put them in your mail box and raise the box's flag. You will feel so proud for doing your part!

When those envelopes hit the Post Office the original sender is charged for the mail service.

This puts American postal workers back to work and increases the U.S. Postal Service's gross revenues to help keep them solvent and strong. Plus, it keeps all that junk mail out of your local landfill - a win-win!

Help save our Postal System! It's the American thing to do!!!

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#23
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:52 PM

I like this idea. You have one additional adherent to your plan.

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#31
In reply to #22

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 7:59 AM

I used to send back all the AARP junk mail business reply envelopes with a note inside saying that I had joined AMAC.

Recently, the AARP junk mail has return envelopes that YOU must supply the postage to mail.

Hooker

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#33
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 8:12 AM

"Recently, the AARP junk mail has return envelopes that YOU must supply the postage to mail."

They are on to me. :)

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#34
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 8:17 AM

Me, too.

I'm going to blast AARP as being anti-Postal Service.

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#41
In reply to #22

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 12:02 PM

I have returned junk mail to the original sender. I had never thought of swapping out the contents. As a sharing and caring person, I like the idea of sharing my junk mail with all of my junk mail senders. It has a sort of karma to it.

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#51
In reply to #22

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 5:48 PM

re: Rut-Ro plan and doing my part to save the postal service

I've been doing that with all the political, insurance offers, alarm system offers, and all the other advertising junk I receive, some of them I add comments in black and red marker, especially if it's from AARP. It's taken very little of my time over the last 3 years, and provided much satisfaction. I wish I could do that with on screen advertising.

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#52
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 7:38 PM

You could be a lieutenant for the Rut-Ro team! We are impressed.

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#20

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:30 PM

Doesn't these drones open up a can of worms? My biggest problem would be invasion of privacy. FAA going to want these piloted not just ran by computer. All these eyes in the sky flying around. Won't be long before something private turn up on the internet. That and the fact there are so many predicted to do the delivery. I wouldn't put passed our government to fly some among them for surveillance in your own back yards.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:42 PM

'...My biggest problem would be invasion of privacy....'

.

Privacy! That's a good one! I needed a chuckle.

.

In case you were being serious, I need to break some news to you. You may need to sit down for this. Your privacy is no more. She has been violated and run through. Every agency has had her and most took demeaning pictures. She died a degrading death.

.

Where have you been?

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#32
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 8:11 AM

Okay you chuckle. Keep on chuckling when the demented youth that's flying one of these. Hovers outside your window recording you and your better half. Decides to put it on YouTube.

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#44
In reply to #32

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 4:43 PM

I'm not chuckling at the loss of privacy. I'm chucking that you aren't aware it's already gone.

.

Your curtains are open? You are aware of drones with cameras? Without a reasonable expectation of privacy, you don't have a right to it.

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#24

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 3:59 PM

I can see it now: DUCK DYNASTY does reality-show on "Hunting Season for Amazon Fowl" (wink,wink).

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#25

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 4:30 PM

Brings a whole new meaning to "denial of service" hacks! I can see it now, one guy orders 3000 "items" for separate delivery to every house on his street...then sits there with his buddies and target practices on them!

It's supposed to shorten the delivery time? Just go to the damn store!

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 5:44 PM

"Just go to the damn store!"


I would, but I might lose my place on the charger....(sic)


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#27
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 6:41 PM

Now the police will have to get bigger drones to pick that car up if you overstay your welcome!

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#28
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 10:01 PM

I'll hit them with my tractor beam....

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#29

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/09/2013 11:28 PM

If I don't own my Mineral Rights,do I have rights to the Airspace above my property, for a determined amount of feet , at least????

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#43
In reply to #29

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 4:27 PM

35ft?

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#35

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 8:33 AM

1. how can the drone avoid all those wires?

By being remotely piloted.

2. what if a kid stands under the drone and gets crushed?

Crushed by something you can pick up with one hand? Not likely. Also see 1.

3. what if a kid hangs onto the drone while it tries to take off?

S/he could break the drone. Also see 1.

4. what if every corner liquor store and 7-11 wants to use delivery drones?

Hmmm. Liquor store drones. How is this a drawback?

5. my yard is full of trees, there is no safe place for the drone to land or to drop stuff without landing.

Well, you won't be eligible for drone delivery. As many people won't even if the service is in their area, apartment dwellers for example.

While we're talking about back yards I'd be much happier with a delivery being dropped into my locked and walled back garden rather than being left on the front porch.

6. what if kids throw rocks at the drone, or ganstas shoot at the drone?

They'll get arrested just the same as if they throw rocks or shoot at the UPS truck.

OK, this is clearly 99% marketing, 1% reality but I'll bet Amazon do introduce the service in some limited areas, just for the chutzpah factor and to get even more publicity from it. And, in very limited circumstances, it would actually be useful. And, come on guys, this is an engineering forum, lets celebrate the emergence of a new technology application, even if it is a minor one. We'd never have built bridges if everyone stood around the first one grumbling, "you'll never get a cow over that".

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#37
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 9:21 AM

Yeah, there may be those that try to shoot at these things, but a far more pervasive threat would be RF jamming and spoofing.

If enough of these take flight there will be a whole cottage industry supplying people with the tools for their new hobby and those tools need not be too sophisticated.

Just like radar jammers, they will be hard to keep out of the hands of people and unlike discharging a firearm, they will be hard track down perpetrators.

Its the aviation version of the knockout game.

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#38
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 9:26 AM

like this?

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#42
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 12:07 PM

Awesome!

Here come The Drone Wars...

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#40
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 11:11 AM

Everybody will have a drone landing pad that they set out when expecting a delivery....and they can fly under trees, land on balconies, or fly into windows or doors, or land in garages, or on the roof of your car....

http://agbeat.com/business-news/century21s-landing-pads-amazon-drone-delivery/

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#39

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/10/2013 9:31 AM

All my Amazon deliveries will now be called "drone strikes"

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#45

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 11:05 AM

How would Amazon deal with apartment dwellers? I think the use of drones as a marketing tool is pretty far fetched. A possible use for drones could be to deliver drugs and blood to hospitals in an emergency. The mention of drugs, brings up the possibility that drug dealers and suppliers would be linked up in their trade. Imagine flying drugs across the Mexican border. They have been using tunnels, boats, planes and even submarines to get drugs across the border. Drones could be the next use of drones.

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#46
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 11:12 AM

'.....Drones could be the next use of drones.....'

.

Quite the pithy prediction. I suspect you are onto something.

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#56
In reply to #46

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/12/2013 6:53 PM

I meant to say; "Drones could be the next use for transporting drugs".

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#59
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/16/2013 7:34 AM

I know.... was just giving you a hard time. You intention was apparent. I'm sure the cartels had similar thoughts not all that long ago.

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#47
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 11:17 AM

I would not be surprised if drugs are already crossing the border via drones.

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#48
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 11:54 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if they were being supplied by the US Justice Dept.

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#49
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 1:44 PM

No, they just supply the guns!

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#105
In reply to #49

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 4:03 PM

Of course. They would be stepping on the CIA's toes if started supplying drugs.

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#50

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 5:30 PM

Can't recall the date or the county, but one county did pass a 'bounty' on drones, not sure of the amount, but I think it was in response to reports of federal drones in the state. I think this might be a good solution for all drones, and a chance to make some extra money.

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#53

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/11/2013 10:40 PM
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#54
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/12/2013 6:45 AM

I guess that sums it up. Drone deliveries are certain to go the way of warrantless wire taps, utilization of undocumented workers, exceeding the posted speed limit in an automobile, insider trading, going to war without the approval of congress, racial profiling and other illegal activity. Remember when that stuff used to happen?

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#55
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/12/2013 1:51 PM

Driverless cars were illegal too, now Nissan is talking about selling them. laws can and do change. And laws don't seem to make much of a dent in illegal drug use or gun ownership, in fact the opposite seems to be true.

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#57

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/14/2013 7:40 AM

Then no nothing from Amazon to your neighborhood. Also you are a donkey and an ass dont read books...

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#64
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/15/2014 8:30 PM

I would like to suggest (and make my support clear) for an additional rating button... a 'best of' button. Not necessarily or even often a "Good Answer' yet something I'm glad I read (definitely glad I didn't write). See "best of craigslist' for an example..... or the preceding comment.

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#58

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/14/2013 2:21 PM

It would seem to be a relatively practical solution to use (utility?) drones to;

1. Provide emergency (supplies) to isolated locations until (relief) could arrive on-scene;

2. Provide (high-priority) packages from the top of one (business/skyscraper) to another, in a timely enough manner;

3. Provide (components) needed from one building within a large installation to another in the same, or a closely located different, installation;

But only if weather, cost, (hostile fire), etc., allows, and the need is sufficiently immediate...

If not, then it's just a glorified gimmick,,,

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#62
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/15/2014 7:16 PM

Also, drones could be made big enough to transport security personnel to deal with a remote security breach, and injured persons from said breach...

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#63
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/15/2014 8:26 PM

Is it still a drone if there are people aboard? Or would it just be a helicopter with very advanced autopilot?....Unless of course the 'security personnel' and 'injured persons' you mentioned were just euphemisms for strike-breaking flesh-replacement robot (and the same in need off repairs for the later) ...

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#65
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 10:20 PM

First of all, I want to thank you for creating the need for me to comment further on a relatively basic concept.

First, to define my terms, the larger military drones are already large enough to carry one, or more, human passengers. Since I clearly was talking about making drones bigger, I was obviously referring to the idea of enlarging the smaller drones, such as those like the ones to be used by, say, Amazon, to deliver small packages.

So, all I was trying to say was to make the same kind of drone big enough to similarly carry humans as (packages)...

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#66
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 10:32 PM

Second, such small drones should relatively easily be modified to each carry at least one camera around the perimeter of a large (property) while relaying pictures back to some kind of a (control center) where one or more human could watch a screen from a relatively central location, rather than have to drive, or walk, around said perimeter, in shifts, for 24 hours per day.

Drones should be readily enabled to conduct such routine perimeter security patrols, for, say, 8 to 12 hours, at a time, without getting (tired), (bored), and/or (distracted) like human sentries might...

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#67
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 10:45 PM

Third, such a drone could be seen as remotely-piloted-vehicle (a so-called "RPV"), if it's (specific task) was appropriate to be human-controlled from a (centralized control center). However, our human attention spans don't do the same thing for 8 to 12 hours, without breaks, very well. So, such activity is a logical application to be handled by drones that are under the control of a computer program. Thus, for any such repetitive task, it is more appropriate to view them as remotely-program-piloted-vehicles (i.e.: RPPV's).

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#70
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 11:01 PM

Fourth, in a (perfect world), that would be enough, but we do not live in such a world. Reality is much more challenging because (things) do go wrong, both accidentally. and (intentionally)...

So, the capacity for (contingency response) becomes necessary. In the case of perimeter surveillance, the need for more specific (responses) become necessary. Should something like a (security breach) occur, the (control room staff) could immediately sound an alarm, and, first, quickly dispatch (significantly more capable) drone that could be rpv-ed safely to near the specific (area-of-concern) to gather much more (specific data) while (human elements "scramble") to a more task-specific readiness, based on the additional data provided thusly...

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#71
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 11:15 PM

Fifth, while such (human elements) are scrambling to full-readiness, in say, less than three minutes, there could also be readying the appropriate number of one- or two- person drone "hoppers" during the same three minutes.

A human controller could then enter the relative coordinates, and the first-responders, aboard the hoppers, could start towards the (breach) while receiving additional data from the human controller, the near-site drone, and/or (other relevant sources). Such a quick response could be the critical factor in successfully handling a (breach).

A helicopter might take (15-20 ?) minutes to take-off from a cold-start...

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#72
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 11:26 PM

Sixth, as the hoppers approach, the (passengers) would have to be allowed to go to (manual override) and become hopper-pilots, if the landing zone was too "hot" to continue on.

The first-responders could also be similarly assisted if the (control center staff) could take-over the operation of the other security drones and then rpv them to add additional "eyes" on the scene, until follow-on responders could arrive on the ground...

The specific combinations-of-response would depend on the specific nature of the breach...

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#73
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 11:34 PM

Seven, no matter how big the (area-to-be-secured) might be, it would still be better to go in, as quickly as possible, with electronic "eyes" first, and as many such "eyes" as possible, wiiiiiiiide open, would it not?...

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#74
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 3:08 AM

"...it would still be better to go in, as quickly as possible, with electronic "eyes" first, and as many such "eyes" as possible, wiiiiiiiide open, would it not?..."

.

No, that is not a universal truth. It all depends on what exactly is being surveilled and to what end.

.

Although it hasn't been stated specifically, unless I missed that particular number, it does seem like you have in mind something like protecting a military base from hostile forces. If that is the case, sending in 'as many such eyes as possible', 'as quickly as possible', is probably a very bad plan. If all of your electronic eyes are sent to an initial distraction, none will see the actual attack coming. If all your electronic eyes are sent 'as quickly as possible' none will be far enough removed to record what became of the other electronic eyes as they lost video feed.

.

I'm not sure exactly what you are proposing, even after your careful numbering. You seem to be passionate about what you are saying. I hope that passion can be leveraged in a positive way.

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#90
In reply to #74

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

03/03/2014 11:00 PM

Thanks for reminding me that there some portions of Engineering that I like...

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#80
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 8:44 AM

In 1977 I was in a project team that demonstrated programmed pilotless flight of a NASA/Army Chinook helicopter. We started up the helicopter and then turned over control to a ground digital computer (through rf) that instructed an on-board analog computer that managed the flight controls. Since this was before GPS we used ground-based laser tracking to validate the helicopter's position continuously.

The primary flight program involved lifting the helicopter off the ground, departing to a point 10 miles in a particular direction, flying a circle around our departure point on a 10 mile radius, and then returning and landing at our departure point.

We did this with a crew of 5; two hands-off safety pilots, two co-crewchiefs monitoring the helicopter equipment and a project engineer monitoring the computer and telemetry systems.

Quite an interesting project but it didn't get any publicity as it was Army funded and fairly hush-hush.

So, yes, all your conjecture was somewhat available (if not cost effective) nearly 40 years ago.

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#83
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 9:21 AM

That's interesting.

.

Am I understanding that the crew was aboard the helicopter during flight, not remote, right?

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#84
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 9:34 AM

All of the remaining F-4 Phantoms from the vietnam era have been converted to remote control as well. they are using them as SAM targets. when they run out of F-4's to shoot at, they will start with the early F-16 A's and B's....

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#87
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 7:51 PM

I used to know a guy that had bailed out/crashed (I think he was counseled from ejecting too low, IFRC) what at the time was the last F-16 B over Eglin Airforce Base Reserve, though that was in the mid 80's and they probably produced more.

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#89
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/26/2014 7:39 AM

The A and B models had a major problem in that in an attempt to reduce weight, the manufacturer eliminated the use of "alligator grommets" where wiring harnesses passed over metallic edges, opting instead to roll the edge of the metal to prevent chafing instead. But there were a few pinch points in which the rolling was insufficient, there was one in particular that affected the wiring harness going to the artificial horizon display in the cockpit that when the wire chafed through to the conductor would cause the artificial horizon display to invert leading to a number of crashes in which the pilot flew the aircraft into the ground because due to acrobatics and G-loading he had lost all sense of vertical and was relying on his instruments to tell him which way was up. The manufacturer had also opted for teflon/tefzel coated wire instead of kapton coated wire due to problems that were beginning to emerge with kapton insulated wire in aircraft, but teflon/tefzel wire has it's own problems. tefzel (crosslinked teflon) and teflon have a tendency to cold flow even at room temp. eventually the wires would drift downward away from the centerline of the insulation, making chafing much more likely.

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#85
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 9:43 AM

Am I understanding that the crew was aboard the helicopter during flight, not remote, right?

I believe so. At least that's what I thought of his statement regarding "two hands-off safety pilots" which were part of a crew of 5.

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#86
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 9:44 AM

Yep, there were 5 of us on board at all times. Another aspect of the project was to demonstrate fly-by-wire control of the helicopter via a joystick during piloted flight.

That was fairly easy since we already had all the servos and interconnects installed.

Here's a pic of the cockpit. You can see the disconnected standard stick and the joystick at the right seat. The pilot on that side also had a small crt that displayed pre-programmed stick figure obstacles around the airfield. (Note: the pedals and the collective controls were not part of the piloted fly-by-wire system.)

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#88
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 8:04 PM

That's interesting. Thanks again.

.

The fly by wire offset to the side joystick looks similar to what was used in the f-16 pretty soon thereafter.

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#77
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 8:00 AM

Just for the record, in Vietnam, under emergency conditions, we could get a Chinook from power off to wheels off the ground in about 2 minutes.

It's actually pretty easy. You just ignore the start-up and take-off procedures that guarantee you won't destroy the helicopter and/or kill any innocent bystanders.

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#79
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 8:19 AM

safety is for pussies... =b

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#81
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 8:47 AM

Especially when someone is shooting at ya!!!!

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#69
In reply to #66

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 10:51 PM

"...relaying pictures back to some kind of a (control center) where one or more human could watch .....

Drones should be readily enabled to conduct such routine perimeter security patrols, for, say, 8 to 12 hours, at a time, without getting (tired), (bored), and/or (distracted) like human sentries might......."

.

Seems like the problem you mention has not been fixed, only moved. Wouldn't the human watching the feed from the drone be just as (possibly more) susceptible to getting tired/bored/distracted?

.

If we are protecting a fixed perimeter, why do the cameras have to fly around?

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#75
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 7:43 AM

moving cameras on irregular schedules and flight paths are harder to evade. which is the same reason why the SR-71 was taken back out of mothballs for a time before drones became common. you can easily hide from satellites because you know when they will be transiting. but an SR-71 or a drone could pop up at a moment's notice and not give you time to hide stuff.

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#76
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 7:59 AM

That is good reasoning. I agree, drones offer some advantages over satellites. It is alo a differrent argument than what was being suggested.

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#78
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 8:18 AM

not really, same concept on a smaller scale. if you never know when the drone is going to be in your sector, you have no idea when it is safe to approach the perimeter.

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#82
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/25/2014 9:14 AM

The again, even if you don't know when a drone is going to be in your sector, knowing that an approach to the perimeter has not yet been detected could be valuable. Time required to respond after a drone enters the area of an approach could also be valuable.

.

Still, the arguments you make are in support of random routes over regular routes. Since we are talking about a smaller scale here, surveillance of the complete perimeter might be available at a lower cost with non-mobile equipment.

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#68
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

02/24/2014 10:46 PM

I understood what you were saying. The question still seems unresolved though: would it still be considered a drone if it is carrying people?

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#60

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/16/2013 1:39 PM
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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

12/16/2013 1:48 PM
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#91

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/07/2014 10:40 PM

Interestingly, MSN recently posted a video of a drone truck. Not a very ''big deal'' all by itself, except that video showed a four-wheeled vehicle with eight vertically mounted engines with propellers, with 4 blades each. The individual blade length appeared to be about three to four feet long. And, yes, it did fly, not very fast, or very high, but it actually flew, and yes, it was more that big enough to transport several people as ''freight''... The ''possible'' has now happened...

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 2:35 AM

'The "possible" has now happened...'?

.

Strictly speaking, is the "possible" always what happens?

.

More to your point though, which "possible" were you describing? The possibility that a large octo-copter drone would be referred to as a 'truck' in a MSN video? Or the possibility that building an octo-copter would only be considered an accomplishment once it was large enough to threaten the lives of transport passengers?

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 7:28 AM

threaten the lives of

I think you have a very valid point...based on the failure rates of electronics and mechanicals....as a pilot I know engine failure and gliding to a 'landing', still having control surfaces, and I understand helicopters have a possibility of autorotation to a landing, but a failure of a engine on one of these fixed rotor devices would surely cause an unrecoverable stability problem.

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#94
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Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 8:06 AM

The very computer control that allows the multi-rotor drones to fly with some semblance of stability can also be programmed to aid the machine to a safe landing in case of mechanical or system failure.

Loosing one of eight motors in an octo drone would probably be as insidious as the dreaded seven engine emergency landing in a B-52.

Hooker

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 8:21 AM

hooker is of course correct, however if you lose multiple rotors all on one side/end, that is when stability problems start becoming difficult for the fly by wire computer controls to deal with. the more rotors you have to work with, the easier it is to deal with this sort of issue.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 8:37 AM

Exactly!!

The safety requirements of these machines is all about the level of cost and complexity vrs risk. A totally risk free flying machine would not be able (read: allowed) to fly.

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#97
In reply to #96

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 1:42 PM

Note to self: prior to first foot departing from ground, make sure other foot is in contact with ground.

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#98
In reply to #95

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 1:58 PM

That seems reasonable. Does history lend support to the idea? I know the V-22 Osprey has had some problems, but the safety record of the CH-47 Chinook would suggest that those problems are more specific to the Osprey (and perhaps tilt-rotor designs) than multiple rotor designs in general.

.

Anyone have any data for comparing single rotor to multi rotor helicopter saety?

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#99
In reply to #98

Re: Amazon's Drone Helicopter Delivery Plan

05/08/2014 3:00 PM

The chinook's rotors are on the centerline so you don't have the long leverarm trying to make it flip upside down, just extreme nose up/down (depending on which rotor fails). The Osprey's rotors are out on the wingtips and the center of mass is a good ways away and the rotors don't tilt sideways. So it is specific to the configuration. Hooker is intimately familiar with Chinooks I believe and could clarify/correct any points I missed/screwed up. The Osprey has a PTO shaft on each engine pod that links the two rotors together through clutches so that one engine can spin both rotors to allow for a controlled descent/crash, but that is only useful if the rotors and shaft bearings are still intact.

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