Amazon has been working on delivery by drone for a while now. And now the world’s largest online retailer has revealed its latest drone variant. The newly-revealed Amazon Prime Air delivery drone flies using a similar approach to VTOL aircraft, taking off and landing vertically, but orienting itself horizontally once airborne.
The new drone has thermal and depth cameras, sonar, and onboard computers with machine learning, to navigate and detect hazards. It has six degrees of freedom where most quadcopters have four, allowing it to be more stable and deal with high wind conditions. They upped the safety too, as the rotors are fully shrouded. These shrouds also double as wings in forward flight.
The goal is to produce a fully-electric drone that flies up to 15 miles, delivering packages under 5 pounds in just under 30 minutes. Interestingly, 75-90 percent of individually-purchased items fall within this weight limit, so most items can be shipped in this way. Of course, multiple items pose more of a challenge.
We don’t know when we will see this drone in action over our neightborhoods, but it brings Amazon a step closer to drone delivery. The company says we will see it in the “coming months.” Hopefully, we don’t have to wait very long for Amazon Prime drone delivery.
[via Mike Shouts]
Forget having to fill up your car tires ever again. Airless tires are where it’s at. Soon you won’t have to worry about getting flat tires and filling them up to the proper pressure levels. The Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) is a line of airless tires that Michelin and GM have teamed up to launch on some consumer vehicles by 2024.
This new airless rubber tire is supported by flexible spokes. They can’t go flat, and will supposedly last longer than normal tires. This is in part due to the punishment a lot of regular tires suffer from under or over-inflating. Sure, they don’t look very stylish, but they will be a lot less hassle than air-filled tires.
The real question is how these tires will perform after being exposed to the weather for a few years. They will be in the hot baking sun, harsh winters, and wet climates. I guess we will find out soon how well these handle the weather. Also, those slots on the side are going to get caked with mud and other debris, so that might create another problem.
The first Michelin Uptis tires are expected roll out sometime before 2024 with the Chevrolet Bolt EV likely to be the first production vehicle to get them.
YouTube channel AcademeG found a cheap Bentley Continental GT (are they ever actually cheap?) and created this monster off-road version. In this case it probably was cheap since it had so many problems with the engine.
For starters, the luxobarge needed new turbos for the twin-turbo W12 engine. So the guys at Russian vlog AcademeG replaced the engine with a Japanese-market Toyota 4.3L V8 engine. Then they ditched the original Bentley frame and drivetrain. But what they did next makes them my personal heroes. The body was placed onto a custom frame with tank treads. They call it the Ultratank.
This thing is badass, although it does have some problems. The engine doesn’t like to operate at the low rpms that the treads prefer and it has issues cornering. Who cares? Just run over stuff in your rich people tank and stop complaining.
They do have a point though – if the vehicle corners too hard, the treads come off. Oh, and there are no brakes. To slow down you crank the steering wheel back and forth which slows the inside tread as the vehicle starts to turn. I can live with that. I just want to run stuff over. Check out the full Ultratank build log on YouTube.
Being one of the world’s big superpowers, China is always building up its military might. One of their many dangerous toys is this armored vehicle from Beijing Zhongzi Yanjing Auto Co. Ltd. It looks like a Humvee of sorts, but this vehicle is deadly.
Imagine this bad boy just cruising along like a regular military personnel transporter, until a bunch of launch tubes pop out of the roof. Oh sh*t! It has 12 pneumatic launch tubes capable of launching drones into the air to conduct reconnaissance missions, or to carry out “accurate suicide attacks on targets.”
Yeah, this isn’t your run of the mill military vehicle. It is death on wheels. It creates an element of surprise for an enemy. The dozen drones it carries consist of four SULA30 recon drones, which are capable of staying in the air for over an hour and eight two-meter wide SULA89 reconnaissance and attack drones, each capable of holding 4.4 lbs of explosives intended to incapacitate light armored vehicles, destroy field fortifications and kill, kill, kill.