Tech

Amazon Prime Air Drone's First Ever US Delivery Is A Box Full Of Sunscreen

By Edge Ison , Mar 25, 2017 04:00 AM EDT

Amazon Prime Air's first ever delivery in public in the United States was a success. The first package shipped by the company's unmanned delivery drone on Monday was a box filled with bottles of sunscreen.

According to CNET, the package containing bottles of sunscreen was shipped at the MARS (Machine learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space exploration) conference, an invite-only event sponsored by Amazon and held in California. The drone carrying the prearranged order made a grand entrance as it hovered over the event and landed right on top its mark on a clear part of the field where some of the participants were gathered.

The Verge noted that the e-commerce company has been conducting drone delivery tests for some years now but this is the first one made in public on American soil. The first successful delivery by the company was completed back in December last year in Cambridge, England.

This is hardly the first successful attempt to ship a package using an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, however. That distinction belongs to FPS Distribution which completed its first commercial drone delivery on March 2015 in Sheffield. One of the biggest convenient store chains, 7-Eleven, also had its experimental drone delivery system successfully take 77 ordered items straight to the customers' doorsteps on November 2016. 7-Eleven used Flirtey drones to complete the deliveries which fell within a one-mile radius from the selected branch in Reno. Both 7-Eleven and Flirtey claimed, however, that their drone actually delivered its first order which included a chicken sandwich, hot coffee, Slurpees, donuts and candy to a certain customer in July last year.

Amazon has been entertaining this idea of using drones for delivery purposes for quite some time now and has, in fact, filed and was granted patents for a floating warehouse to keep the drones and supplies and a method of completing deliveries by way of small parachutes. Its first successful foray in the eyes of the American public is another giant step for the giant e-commerce company.

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