Definition

Amazon Prime Air drone

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Amazon's Prime Air drone is a delivery system in development that will use remote-controlled robotic vehicles to transport goods from the company's order fulfillment centers to the consumer. 

Amazon's drones are small, unmanned octocopters -- helicopters with eight rotors -- that use GPS navigation. The drones have electric motors, which makes them more environmentally-friendly than delivery trucks. 

The company says that the aircraft will deliver customer orders of five pounds or less, which includes 86 percent of all Amazon orders. Customers within a 10-mile radius of a fulfillment center should be able to expect delivery inside of 30 minutes. 

See an octocopter prototype test flight:

This was first published in December 2013

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