Hot on the heels of Amazon’s announcement that they would use unmanned drones to deliver orders within 30 minutes of buying, it has been hinted that Google is prepping a fleet of automated robots, while Waterstones delivered a tongue in cheek alternative that utilises owls.
There are many sceptics that point to the timing of Amazon’s announcement, just a day before the biggest digital retail day of the year, as being the sole reason for their release. Drones pose considerable potential problems, including those of security, efficiency, safety, cost, and range, which mean it is unlikely that the Drone delivery system will ever really get off the ground.
In response to the announcement, Waterstones have released a tongue in cheek advertising film detailing the O.W.L.S delivery service, or Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service. While parts of the video might make you cringe, it is amusing and the Q&A section on the book retailer’s website is arguably even funnier.
The company have said that it “will take a number of years as it takes ages to train owls to do anything and we only just thought of it this morning.”
Perhaps a more viable solution is Google’s automated robots, although the company itself describes it as being a moonshot, and said that they would need 10 years.
Google has the benefit of having already developed driverless cars, which means that these could be used to get deliveries to the kerbside, and robots used to take the parcel to the door.
It may be a longshot, but Google is certainly unhinged enough to give it a go, and they have hired a team of Japanese robotics engineers that specialise in the manufacture and development of humanoid bots.
Will there ever be a day where we see drones or robots delivering our online shopping?