News Story

Humbert Weighs in on Amazon's Drone Delivery Program in Washington Business Journal

Humbert Weighs in on Amazon's Drone Delivery Program in Washington Business Journal

The media is currently abuzz with Amazon's recent announcement of Amazon Prime Air, a new delivery system that would use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to deliver packages to customers. While Amazon states on their website that their new drone delivery system would be ready to go as early as 2015, pending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rulings for the use of UAVs, applications of this system may need more time for refinement before it is safe to fully operate in an urban environment.

In a recent story appearing in the Washington Business Journal, Humbert outlines some of the logistical and practical challenges facing Amazon's drone program, and specifically, points out the current limitations  of Amazon drones' "sense and avoid technology."

"You can fly overhead and through Google Maps [to] figure out where the building is. You can get an octocopter right out in front of a building or on top of it," said Humbert. "But in terms of actually ducking down into the urban clutter and navigating unknown objects, including things like phone lines, that's the technology that isn't there right now."

And Humbert should know. The AVL currently works on a number of projects that looks to nature's adaptations for flight and maneuverability, such as hummingbirds, moths and even fruit flies, to create sophisticated bio-inspired sensing technologies that could enable future autonomous vehicles to navigate just those sorts of complex three-dimensional environments.

For more information on Humbert, visit his faculty profile page or the Autonomous Vehicle Lab website.


December 10, 2013

Prev  
Next

Current Headlines

University of Maryland School of Engineering Announces Unprecedented Investment from A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation

UAS Test Site Expert Available to Comment on UAS Integration Pilot Program

UMD Researchers Receive Funding to Further Study ‘Fire Whirls’

UMD Opens Outdoor Flight Laboratory to Advance Autonomy, Robotics

UMD Teams Place 1st at AHS International's 34th Annual Student Design Competition

Relive Totality With Clark School Images, Videos

Hubbard Co-Authors New Book on Flexible Multi-Body Dynamics for Flapping Wing Vehicles

Davidson and Plotkin Selected as 2017-2018 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts