Amazon has a new drone that the company is planning to introduce to its fleet of Prime Air delivery aircraft. They showed off the new creation at their re:Mars (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) conference in Las Vegas this week, showcasing a video of the new Prime Air delivery drone in action alongside the announcement.
What makes this drone particularly noteworthy is the fact that it can transform.
No, we’re not taking Autobots and Decepticons here, but rather a Harrier Jump Jet. To that end the new drone can fly vertically like a helicopter for take offs and landings, as well as transform to fly forwards like a plane.
It’s a “hybrid design” aircraft, explains Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, who unveiled the new drone at the re:Mars conference.
“The distinctive aircraft is controlled with six degrees of freedom, as opposed to the standard four. This makes it more stable, and capable of operating safely in more gusty wind conditions,” he notes.
For now Amazon is not going into the finer details as to what this latest aircraft can muster, but they did note that the next goal in mind for their fleet is to have a host of fully electric drones that can cover 15 miles (24 kilometres) in under 30 minutes while carrying packages weighing around 5 pounds (2.26kg).
Whether this new drone is the one to achieve that feat, remains to be seen.
It’s also unclear when these new drones will take to the skies for Prime Air, as Amazon has not confirmed an official launch date, and has in the past, failed to get some of their more ambitious drone projects off the ground.
In the interim hit play on the video below to check out the new drone in action.