10:15 03 December 2013
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has confirmed that it is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said that the drones, which are called Octocopters, are designed to deliver packages that weigh up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes from placing the order.
Mr Bezo told CBS television's 60 Minutes programme: "I know this looks like science fiction, but it's not.”
"We can do half-hour delivery... and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver."
However, some experts aren’t very optimistic about Amazon’s plans. Dr Darren Ansell, an expert on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from the University of Central Lancashire, said: "The UAVs do not currently have the awareness of their environment to be able to avoid flying into people. To deliver goods to people's homes for example in residential areas, the UAVs must overfly densely populated towns and cities, something that today's regulations prevent.
"Other things to consider are security of the goods during the transit. With no one to guard them the aircraft and package could be captured and stolen.”
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