Wednesday June 26, 2019
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Amazon Unveils its Next-Gen Prime Air Drone to Deliver Packages to Customers

Wire detection is one of the hardest challenges for low-altitude flights

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amazon, drones, drone surveillance
The current surveillance capabilities offered by Amazon are already quite extensive. VOA

By Nishant Arora

Upping the ante for its rivals, Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its latest and Next-Gen Prime Air drone that can fly up to 24 km and deliver packages under 2.5 kg to customers in less than 30 minutes.

The drone would start shipping packages within months, starting with the US.

“With the help of our world-class fulfillment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, told the audience at its “Re: Mars” event here.

A hybrid design, it can do vertical takeoffs and landings – like a helicopter.

“It’s efficient and aerodynamic – like an airplane. It also easily transitions between these two modes – from vertical-mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode,” informed Wilke.

The new Prime Air drone employs diverse sensors and advanced algorithms, such as multi-view stereo vision, to detect static objects like a chimney.

Amazon, New york
A delivery person pushes a cart full of Amazon boxes in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

To detect moving objects, like a paraglider or helicopter, it uses proprietary computer-vision and machine learning algorithms.

The drone needs a small area around the delivery location that is clear of people, animals, or obstacles.

“We determine this using explainable stereo vision in parallel with sophisticated AI algorithms trained to detect people and animals from above,” emphasised the Amazon executive.

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Wire detection is one of the hardest challenges for low-altitude flights.

“Through the use of computer-vision techniques we’ve invented, our drones can recognize and avoid wires as they descend into, and ascend out of, a customer’s yard,” said Wilke. (IANS)

Next Story

Amazon, Toshiba Announce First Budget-friendly TV with Dolby Vision

The company has continued to iterate on the Fire TV software to embrace Alexa voice controls as well

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Google , US, Alexa, Amazon, Drones, e-commerce
The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

E-commerce giant Amazon has announced the first budget-friendly Toshiba-branded 4K TV with built-in Fire TV software and Dolby Vision.

Up until now, the Dolby Vision — which is an HDR format that offers a wider colour palette and brighter highlights — has been widely available in premium-priced smart TVs, it is still trickling down to entry-level sets.

The Toshiba set would be available in 55-inch, 43-inch and 50-inch variants for $449.99, $329.99 and $379.99 respectively, The Verge reported on Thursday. The TVs would be available exclusively on Amazon and Best Buy stores.

The news comes as Amazon prepares to open an installation at the Dolby experiential space in New York City’s Soho neighbourhood where it would showcase theatre-like viewing experience with Dolby’s audio and visual technologies on recent Fire TV hardware.

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Smart televisions are becoming a popular trend.

Amazon’s Fire TV has over 34 million active monthly users and the company currently includes the Stick.

The Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Vision, while the Cube offers Dolby Atmos audio but not the visual side, the report added.

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The company has continued to iterate on the Fire TV software to embrace Alexa voice controls as well.

The Fire TV Edition with Dolby Vision was a necessary step for Amazon to better square off with the line-up of Roku TVs on the market like TCL, which already offers Dolby Vision output, the report noted. (IANS)