Walmart launches on-demand drone delivery pilot. But it might take time before drones deliver your next order

Your future Walmart order might be delivered via drone.

 UPDATED: Days after Walmart announced its first drone pilot Sept. 9, the retail giant announced Monday it was teaming up with Zipline “to launch a first-of-its-kind drone delivery operation in the U.S.” and will test on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness products near Walmart’s headquarters in Arkansas.

The retailer announced the launch of an on-demand drone delivery pilot program with Flytrex, an end-to-end drone delivery company, on Wednesday in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

In a blog post, Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of customer products, said the pilot focuses on delivering select grocery and household essential items from Walmart stores using Flytrex’s automated drones.

“The drones, which are controlled over the cloud using a smart and easy control dashboard, will help us gain valuable insight into the customer and associate experience – from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery,” Ward said.

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Amazon wins FAA approval for Prime Air drone delivery fleet

 

KEY POINTS

  • Amazon on Monday received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its fleet of Prime Air delivery drones.
  • The approval will give Amazon broad privileges to “safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers,” the FAA said.
  • Amazon joins UPS and Alphabet-owned Wing, who previously won FAA approval for their drone delivery operations.

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Amazon just got FAA approval to fly drones for deliveries

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 Your Amazon prime packages are one step closer to being delivered by drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a certificate to Amazon Prime Air on Wednesday, allowing the company to operate its MK27 unmanned aircraft for package deliveries, the federal agency said in a statement.

On the same day, Amazon (AMZN) announced it will begin delivering packages to customers by drone “within months” at its artificial intelligence, robotics and space conference re:Mars in Las Vegas. Amazon’s certificate is valid for one year and is eligible for renewal, according to the FAA.

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Amazon unveils a chopper-plane mashup to deliver packages

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Amazon unveiled its newest drone design for its Prime Air fleet on Wednesday. (Jordan Stead / AFP)

Amazon.com Inc. has unveiled a revolutionary new drone — part helicopter and part science-fiction aircraft — that the company expects to use for test deliveries of toothpaste and other household goods starting within months.

The new device takes off vertically, then tilts to fly horizontally like a plane. It also features artificial intelligence, using a suite of sensors the company said will allow it to fly robotically without threatening traditional aircraft or people on the ground.

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Google just beat Amazon to launching one of the first drone delivery services

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A Wing delivery drone

Google just beat Amazon to launching one of the first drone delivery services

  • The Alphabet startup Wing has secured approval for one of the world’s first drone delivery services.
  • The service is set to officially launch in Canberra, Australia, after securing approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority following a successful trial.
  • The service will aim to use drones to deliver items including coffee and ice cream to homes in the Canberra area within minutes of their being ordered through an app.
  • It means Alphabet has beaten Amazon to the punch after Jeff Bezos failed to deliver on his promise of launching a commercial drone delivery service by 2018.

 

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Disposable delivery drones pass test with US Marines

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The one-time use drones can carry more than 1,000 pounds of supplies.

The US military is testing delivery drones that can transport supplies over long distances and be thrown away after each use. Made of cheap plywood, the bigger version of the two gliders being tested can carry over 700 kilograms, or roughly 1800 pounds. As reported in IEE Spectrum, the scientists at Logistic Gliders, Inc. revealed that their gliders just successfully completed a series of tests with US Marines. If cleared for mass production, the LG-1K and its bigger counterpart, the LG-2K, could cost as little as a few hundred dollars each.

Using unmanned aircraft for delivery is an idea both the military and private sector have explored for years. Traditional aircraft guzzle fuel, cost money to purchase and maintain and require a human pilot. An unmanned aerial device doesn’t require any of these things. Companies like Amazon flirted with the idea of using drones to speed up package delivery, but couldn’t overcome logistical hurdles. While far away from being suitable for civilian use, these latest delivery gliders may be a step in the right direction.

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The first self-driving Ford could be a delivery van and rolling hive for flying drones

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Ford’s new “Autolivery” van concept has a terrible name, but is actually based on interesting core ideas. The van is yet another result of Ford’s fruitful “last mile mobility” internal employee challenge, and this one pairs an electric self-driving van with autonomous drones that nest within to help transport packages that last few feet to a customer’s door.

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