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Amazon completes its first drone-powered delivery

Engadget

It's already been three years since Amazon first revealed its somewhat audacious plan to make deliveries by drone. But the company is quite serious about this, and today it is announcing that it complete the first Amazon Prime Air drone-powered delivery. The company recently launched a trial in Cambridge, England -- and on December 7th, Amazon completed its first drone-powered delivery. It took 13 minutes from order to delivery, with the drone departing a custom-built fulfillment center nearby. Amazon's video about the project says that it's only servicing a few customers in the area right now, but will soon be open to dozens more who live within a few miles of the Cambridge fulfillment center.


Switzerland's Getting a Delivery Network for Blood-Toting Drones

WIRED

If you're interested in drone deliveries, it's likely because you want your internet shopping dropped at your door within an hour of clicking "buy." And while companies like Amazon are working to make that happen, complicated logistics and thorny regulations mean it's likely to be years before you start hearing the whir of rotors on your front porch. Yet drones are already proving their worth with more urgent, medical, missions. The latest of these comes from Silicon Valley startup Matternet, which has been testing an autonomous drone network over Switzerland, shuttling blood and other medical samples between hospitals and testing facilities. "We have a vision of a distributed network, not hub and spoke, but true peer-to-peer," says Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos.


Airspace Systems' 'Interceptor' can catch high-speed drones all by itself

#artificialintelligence

San Leandro-based Airspace Systems is making a business out of solving the toughest problems facing the emerging drone industry. The company designed a drone of its own, jam-packed with sensors and machine intelligence, to autonomously intercept threatening drones at high speeds and carry them away from large crowds. If you think this sounds difficult, you would be right. The company employs myriad technologies for its unmanned flying dogfighters that include computer vision, physics and some pretty serious engineering grit. To not only detect enemy drones, but predict where they will be in the future, CTO Guy Bar-Nahum, and a team of machine learning and computer vision experts, devised a creative method of training their machine learning frameworks using simulated test-flights.


Airspace Systems' "Interceptor" can catch high-speed drones all by itself

#artificialintelligence

San Leandro based Airspace Systems is making a business out of solving the toughest problems facing the emerging drone industry. The company designed a drone of its own, jam packed with sensors and machine intelligence, to autonomously intercept threatening drones at high speeds and carry them away from large crowds. If you think this sounds difficult, you would be right. The company employs a myriad of technologies for its unmanned flying dogfighters that include computer vision, physics, and some pretty serious engineering grit. To not only detect enemy drones, but predict where they will be in the future, CTO Guy Bar-Nahum, and a team of machine learning and computer vision experts, devised a creative method of training their machine learning frameworks using simulated test-flights.


Sky's the limit: Rise of delivery drones has U.S. cities asking who owns airspace

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - Blacksburg was already well prepared when the U.S. government announced in April that the Virginia town would be home to the country's first commercial drone delivery service. Virginia Tech University, based in Blacksburg, has for years hosted a major drone development program, which has carried out experimental deliveries of ice cream, fast food and more. "I moved (to Blacksburg) last August, and when I was telling people I was moving, they said, 'I know somebody there had their Chipotle (Mexican restaurant chain) delivered by drone!' " said Megan Duncan, a communications professor at Virginia Tech. So, when Wing became the first drone company to be approved as an air carrier by the federal government, allowing the Google parent company Alphabet Inc. to start drone deliveries in and around Blacksburg, many of the locals were excited, Duncan said. "I think there's superinteresting possibilities for remote areas that are underserved, particularly with people who need prescriptions and can't make a 45-minute drive," she said by phone.