The Future of Shopping: Amazon Delivery Drones

By Phill Powell

Amazon has just pushed one step closer to achieving the future of shopping: online orders delivered by flying drones. In a landmark decision that shows the importance of robotics and engineering, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Amazon permission to conduct outdoor testing of delivery drones within an area in Washington state.


This is the future of shopping, according to Amazon, which now will conduct outdoor testing of its delivery drones.

The idea is one that Amazon’s been pushing for years, but without outdoor testing clearance, the most it could do was perform limited-range indoor tests within corporate facilities. Now Amazon’s been given the FAA go-ahead to ramp up its drone experiments and introduce real-world, outdoor flying conditions to its testing activities, as part of Amazon’s efforts to launch Amazon Air Prime, its drone-based delivery system.

Drones are Airborne!
Drones are turning up in more places and are being used for more applications than ever, and the FAA’s ruling about Amazon will clear the path for more experimentation with drones in other industries. Expect to see the farming industry get behind drones in a big way, as well as the filmmaking & visual effects industries.

To be realistic, although this is a major step forward, it’s only one of many steps that will be required before you can expect to see a drone dropping off an Amazon package in your driveway. Experts anticipate we’re still years away from that Jetsons-like future where robot delivery staff whiz by overhead, loaded down with ordered products.

arduino-robotOne day, Amazon will be able to deliver this robot to your porch. But this summer, you can learn how to build Arduino robots…at DMA.

For now, Amazon has been granted an “Experimental Airworthiness Certificate,” which allows Amazon to test its drones during daylight, and when flown at altitudes under 400 feet, and controlled by a pilot licensed to operate a private manned aircraft. Nonetheless, now Amazon can put its testing in high gear, which will benefit all drone users.

Join the Robotics Revolution
The explosion in drone use is just one way that robotics is changing our world and the global workforce. In the future, robots will be in greater use and people who know how to work with robotics will be in high demand as workers.

Start a lifelong adventure in robotics this summer at Digital Media Academy summer camps. It could pave the way to a future career in electrical engineering.


It was only a matter of time before someone started working on the ultimate drone application: home pizza delivery. The test subject in this video got his pie in about 4 minutes…hot, fresh and airborne.

DMA robotics camps feature LEGO Mindstorm robotics® and building with Arduino™. And at DMA robotics camps, students are given full robotics kits to use, so they have plenty of parts for building their robot masterpieces. Start building your future this summer…part by clanking robot part…at DMA robotics tech camps.