Could robots deliver all your Amazon packages? | Robots Everywhere

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Robots can do practically anything these days but if there's one thing we could really use them for right now its delivering stuff thanks to all this coronavirus lockdown business it's either inconvenient dangerous or downright impossible to go out and buy things from physical brick-and-mortar stores which has caused a massive uptick in online ordering for practically everything food toilet paper the day's gym equipment you're gonna use for a month and then neglect until you have to move out everything and that's a problem because it's putting a huge burden on delivery people who have to risk their

Lives and work crazy hours just to make sure that everyone else doesn't run out of instant pots and flaming hot cheetos but does it have to be like this couldn't we just use robots to take some of that pressure off of humans I'm drew PRNDL and this is robots everywhere a show where we Chronicle the slow but steady takeover of our future robot overlords and show you how they're making their way into practically every facet of modern life let's start at the top the holy grail of

Robotic delivery is arguably drums there's nothing more sci-fi and futuristic than a sky filled with thousands of flying robots autonomously whizzing to and fro ferrying packages and passengers from A to B unfortunately we're not quite at that point I mean we have the technology it's just not really everywhere yet in fact if you spend any amount of time on the Internet at all you've probably seen delivery drones from some of the companies that are leading the charge in the industry one of the most high-profile ones is Amazon Prime air which is a vertical takeoff

And landing drone from Amazon that also kind of looks like a plastic IKEA bed frame that can fly then there's Google's winged drone which looks kind of like a dumpy float plane with pontoons glued directly to the wings and is capable of lowering packages down on a little retractable claw there's also a bunch more from shipping companies like UPS FedEx and DHL practically every major shipping organization is getting in on the action now before we get any deeper here I want to take a second to explain why these drones all look so weird the reason is

That they're designed for both vertical takeoff and landing and high speed forward winged flight in other words they use propellers to go up and down but are also capable of flying forward and reaching speeds necessary to create lift with their wings which saves energy over long distances because they don't have to run all of their propellers to stay in the air so at this point you're probably wondering why then even with all of this amazing drone technology do we not have same-day drone based shipping available to everyone a couple reasons for that first and foremost is

Logistics we just don't have a good drone traffic control system yet the FAA the Federal Aviation Administration has been working for the past few years to figure out how to keep track of a zillion tiny aircraft in the sky and prevent them from crashing into not only each other but also passenger planes and buildings and cars and unfortunately we still don't have a great system in place and until that's done drone delivery just won't be possible to pull off safely at least not at a large scale the second reason is efficiency it might seem like flying a package over

The streets and flying in a straight line to its destination would be more efficient than putting it in a van but the fact of the matter is that drones have to fight gravity the whole time that they're in the air which means running propellers and consuming energy so right now that makes drones far more inefficient than ground-based modes of transportation like trucks vans and even trains none of which have to fight gravity as much in order to move around and bar in some major technological leap that makes drones crazy efficient that's probably not

Gonna change anytime soon so despite the fact that they're super cool delivery drones just don't make a ton of sense right now which brings me to my next point flying delivery bots aren't practical right now but terrestrial delivery bots that Rove around on the ground totally different story in fact there are tons of companies big and small that are busy developing ground-based robots that can autonomously haul packages right to your front door the best example of this trend is arguably starship robotics this

Company which by the way it was founded by the guys who created Skype has developed what looks like a six wheeled cooler that can securely store packages inside its chamber and then autonomously drive on sidewalks to deliver them it's super clever because by sticking to sidewalks and other footpaths instead of actual roads these robots don't need to meet the super high safety standards that autonomous cars are held to this basically means that they're cheaper and less technologically complex to deploy so starship already has a bunch of them out in the world delivering stuff and

Has already made over a hundred thousand deliveries right now it's mostly operating at university campuses but it's also available in certain cities in the UK and plans to expand more in the very near future the good news is that you won't have to wait for starship before you can get stuff delivered robotically to your house starships six-wheeled Sidewalk bad idea debuted back in 2014 and since then has been copied by a bunch of competitors one of which just so happens to be this little company that you may have heard of called Amazon back in early 2019 the

Company unveiled Amazon's Scout a robot that looks uncannily similar to the one that starship makes now Scout hasn't been deployed very widely yet and is still doing small-scale trials in just two cities but if there's any company that's gonna make robotic delivery mainstream its Amazon that's not although there are loads of other companies working on the same thing FedEx is getting in on the sidewalk robot game – and is pushing the envelope get it they send mail they're pushing the envelope by design even more advanced robotic in 2019 the

Company launched its rockzo robot which in addition to autonomously navigating footpaths can also climb stairs and deliver stuff directly to your doorstep if you think that's wild though just wait until you see what Ford is cooking up technically they didn't develop this robot themselves but they did toss a bunch of money to this company called agility robotics which has developed a crazy bipedal package delivery bot with articulated hip joints in these weird ostrich looking legs not only can this monster climb stairs and drop off packages but it can also take that final

Step and ring your doorbell to let you know so clearly when it comes to delivery BOTS there is a lot of amazing tech out there we've got ostrich robots we've got sidewalk surfing cooler robots and we have drones with retractable claws all things that seem like they were plucked straight from the pages of a sci-fi novel but while they're all super impressive in getting more advanced with each passing month chances are low that any of these delivery methods will become mainstream anytime soon it's gonna take time for the companies behind these amazing robots to

Refine their technology and scale up their operations so we're probably still looking at another three to five years minimum before robot delivery is something that the average person has access to and honestly probably more like 10 years before it's a common part of everyday life so really what I'm trying to say is that here in 2020 robots are out there but by 2030 robots are gonna be everywhere

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Could robots deliver all your Amazon packages? | Robots Everywhere

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