Package Delivery By a Drone, Good or Bad Technology?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Yvonne Smith, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I just found this article that says Amazon may soon be able to start doing local deliveries using drones, right here in the United States. According to the report, Amazon now has to charge about $8 for a 5 lb package to be locaally delivered in an hour or less; but if they can use a drone for delivery, then the cost of delivery will go down dramatically, to around $1 for the same size of delivery.
    Right now, it appears that Amazon is still working on getting the necessary approval to do this; but it certainly looks like it is getting closer to becoming a reality.

    http://www.fin24.com/Tech/Gadgets/Amazon-drones-could-deliver-packages-for-just-1-20150411
     
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  2. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    The use of drones will put some people out of a job. I don't know how I feel about machines flying through the air carrying items for delivery. I did get a package from Amazon in one day and that was neat. Mixed feelings about the drones.
     
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  3. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I also have mixed feelings about the drones. I do like technology and the fact that things are now possible that weren't years ago. I love the idea of quicker delivery, and less traffic on the roads, but do not like the thought of a bunch of drones flying around. I haven't read up on the subject, so am not sure what height they fly, or whether they would/will interfere with things like cell towers, electrical and other wires, aircraft, etc., but I can imagine some of my neighbors using them for target practice.

    Editing to add that I also am concerned about people losing their jobs. The economy is rough enough as it is, we definitely don't need more people losing their income, homes, etc.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I think that if we had not heard so many stories of spy drones and killer drones used for shooting or bombing people; we might feel a little better about drone technology. As it is, I think most of us don't want to see drones flying around our homes..
    From what i have read, the Amazon drones will not go over 500 feet high, and will only do local deliveries, and carry weights of 5 lbs or less. The actual drone will weigh about 50 lbs, so they will be good sized, but not like a small airplane or anything like that. The pictures look like some kind of sci-fi cross between a giant spider and a helicopter, and carryng around a package.
    Not everything would be able to be delivered by a drone, so it would not likely put people out of work that have delivery jobs, plus, they would have to hire people to remote-fly the drones; so this could actually open up a new job industry.
     
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  5. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I'll definitely have to read up on it. I wonder if the deliveries will be limited to those within a certain proximity of an Amazon warehouse? If so, they probably won't be in my neighborhood any time soon. On a side note, I found it odd when I was ordering some grocery items from Walmart a while back, to be home-delivered by truck, and they were unable to ship olive oil to my area, claiming it was restricted. I don't know if that meant restricted by their particular delivery company, but it seemed odd. You raised a good point with the spy and killer drones, and now I'm wondering how easy it would be to hack into the system.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    The idea of spy drones has been around for some time, and what I have read about those, they are so tiny that you would not even know they were there. The pictures showed a bug-sized little flying gadget that most people would not even pay any attention to , at least if they were busy doing something at the time.
    I know that many people, including journalist Michael Hastings , have been believed to have been targeted by killer drones, and they would likely not look anything like the Amazon delivery drones do. The pictures I have seen of the ones purported to be used for that look more like very tiny airplanes.
    I think that there would actually be some excellent uses for drones, especially in rescue missions. Even though the drone would not likely be able to bring a person out, they could deliver food, water, and medical supplies until a helicopter or rescue team could get there to help out. When there are extreme earthquake or flood/landslide damages, the roads are often impassable, and sometimes even getting a helicopter in can be hazardous. Having a small, maneuverable drone might be ideal for those situations.
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    The biggest problem I see so far with the idea of "delivery" drones is the one thing I doubt if the IT folks have thought of.
    Drones, no matter how large or how small, have not been properly introduced to the masses as of yet.
    If you are my age or a little older you might possibly understand that there is absolutely no sense for somebody sending their whirly-gig to my house without thoroughly introducing me to whatever it is they might be exposing me to. If I am not consciously and totally aware of what is approaching myself, my wife, my home and especially my work-shop.........it gets whacked.
    I recognize the UPS, mailman, FedX, and the pizza guy so they are safe. Everything else, especially if it was a flying critter of sorts and lands on my porch or lawn, it gets whacked like the UFO that it is!
    I am not going to wait for a tiny door to open and no, I do not even like my leader so why would I take whoever comes out to see him. After all, in my way of thinking, introducing ET to O'Bama would be a dead give away regarding our ability to defend ourselves. It would be better for all if I just whacked it and buried it. If, per chance it might have been one of those delivery thingies, let whoever sent it, find it! (especially if it was from the IRS)

    There is one thing I have to consider though. My wife or the pope may want to meet with the critter and baptize it or something but as for me I will indeed show it what being at the short end of a stick really means. If my wife doesn't catch me, the critter will be somewhere in somebody's south forty. If, perchance my wife does catch me however, I might possibly be in for some up close and personal experience with our couch at night and a possible dent in my head to boot.

    Please, do understand, I am not against progress by any means. But, we do live very close to one of the largest arsenals in the U.S. so I am pretty well prepared for whatever the arsenal produces such as: boom, bang, whump, thump, roar, and the ever popular rattling of windows, plates and glasses and the howling of dogs during the siren tests. Yes, I am used to all of that, so allow me the room to do the Joe Biden and lock and load a 12 gauge, or use a piece of hickory, or a pizza paddle for all other things in question. WHACK! best bury that.............it looked a tad larger than a bumble bee.
     
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  8. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    Bobby, You said "if my wife doesn't catch me." That's something I have to be careful about. Our UPS driver and our " mailman" are both female and the same two have been coming here every since we moved here eight years ago. Just recently ( the last two deliveries ) the FedX guy has been replaced by a very young and very pretty female. So, as long as my wife doesn't catch me looking I would like to keep things as they are. I may have to resort to shooting drones too.
     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    We, as married men must keep our priorities and defend them if need be. One thing I am perfectly assured of by my wife, is that I can treat all "looking" like I treat my diet. If the chocolate cake isn't on my diet list, I can't mess with it but I am allowed look at it. Us "older" married guys know the difference between something that is easy on the eyes, and something that might cause a bunch of "hot tongue and cold shoulder" when our eyes make US look too easy. We might wind up waiting for a drone to come help us pack.
     
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  10. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    I am not sure how old you are Bobby, but when I was a kid, I would have loved to see drones flying around. Sling shot, or BB gun and the drone would go down and I would have something new to play with or sell!
     
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  11. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    At least with a drone, you could tell your wife it attacked first! We've all seen the TV shows and movies where the drones come to life and we have to defend ourselves against it. At least, that would be my defense - that's my story and I'm sticking to it! As long as you whack it good enough, she shouldn't be able to tell it wasn't in attack mode. ;)
     
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  12. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure how I feel about drones. I've seen so much about them being "bad", it's hard to see them as a useful, good thing. But I can see how they might be used for things like deliveries. I'm sure 100 years ago, people couldn't imagine those evil mechanical horseless carriages being everywhere. But we've grown quite fond of them since.

    It is kind of Jetson's though. It might be fun! Until there's so many of them that they start crashing into each other and raining down on earth. See, there I go again, assuming they are going to be evil.
     
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  13. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I think that drones would be like most technology, or inventions, for that matter. It is how they are used that makes them either good or bad. Drones that were used to deliver small packages in a way that saved expenses and natural resources would likely be a good thing, and beneficial to people as a whole.
    A rescue drone that flew into an area after an earthquake and carried suppleis and medicines to survivors would be a really good thing.
    But what we see them being used for seems to be to kill people and destroy lives and buildings; so a very different use.
    This is not just true of mechanical devices.
    A dog can save your life, or can attack you and maim or kill you. A stick can either help you to walk around, or it can beat another person; so I think that anything can have good or bad purposes, and it is up to humanity to use things to help each other, not destroy.
     
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  14. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    You used some great analogies, Yvonne! I guess there may be good or bad in all things...of course, I am only good! LOL
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Today, we had a mailman land on the White House lawn carrying letters to all of the Congressmen about finance reform for campaign contributions. He apparently delivers the mail with his gyrocopter, which I have never heard of before.
    The comparison here would be that wherever this gyrocopter could go and land, probably a drone could go there as well, or maybe better, if it was smaller.
    The mailman described his gyrocopter as "flying bicycle", which, when you look at the picture and video, it does kind of look like such a thing.

    http://unclesamsmisguidedchildren.com/gyrocopter-lands-on-white-house-lawn-pilot-in-custody-video/
     
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  16. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    When I was a paramedic, a local chiropractor had one of those that he would use to promote his practice. It did look very much like a bicycle, and he would stream a banner advertising his practice behind it during outdoor events. One day, while he was flying over the Mercedes Livestock Show and Rodeo, he crashed and was declared dead at the scene. They look like they'd be a lot of fun until something goes wrong. He had certainly logged a lot of hours on that thing before anything went wrong, however.
     
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  17. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Technology does have its limits. Unless its operated from the driver's truck, I don't see how it could see how it could be done safely. ....especially the part where it knocks on your door!;)
     
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