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Amazon launches drug delivery by drone

2023-10-18 17:59 by
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Amazon will soon make prescription drugs fall from the sky when the e-commerce giant becomes the latest company to test drone deliveries for medications. The company said Wednesday that customers in College Station, Texas, can now get prescriptions delivered by a drone within an hour of placing their order.

Eligible customers can access more than 500 medications, including treatments for common conditions such as asthma and the flu, and have a drone drop them at their doorstep. The medication will arrive in less than 60 minutes at no additional cost, Amazon said.

Amazon's drones fly at an altitude of 40 to 120 meters-an airspace with minimal obstacles. The drone's built-in sense-and-avoid technology uses sensors and cameras to navigate around people, pets, and power lines.

Cameras on the drone feed into a neural network trained to identify objects. On arrival at the customer's home, the drone slowly and safely lowers itself above a delivery marker. Computer vision will detect any structures or objects protruding from the ground-including people and animals-and check if they are interfering with the descent path. When the delivery zone is clear, the drone releases the package, rises back up to altitude, and returns to the delivery center. Customers pick up packages without any interaction with the drone.

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