Amazon.com Inc. has unveiled a revolutionary new drone — part helicopter and part science-fiction aircraft — that the company expects to use for test deliveries of toothpaste and other household goods starting within months.
The new device takes off vertically, then tilts to fly horizontally like a plane. It also features artificial intelligence, using a suite of sensors the company said will allow it to fly robotically without threatening traditional aircraft or people on the ground. Amazon’s business model for the device is to make deliveries within 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from a company warehouse and to reach customers within 30 minutes. It can carry packages weighing as much as five pounds.