Thoughts and Articles

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Ideas & Thoughts

This is an area to get one's thoughts on paper rather than keeping it inside ones brain.


08 & 09 -09-14

Is drone delivery possible? : Yes, but it is dependent on varying conditions.

  • Money
  • Type of delivery
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Technological capabilities

  N.B. These are intertwined as well.

Can commercial drone delivery replace last mile package delivery? : ???
--> Is there enough research/statistics available to even handle this question???


Developers Consider Obstacles that Cannot Be Flown Around - New York Times Technology Section
This article does not support the question but did allow insight into some obstacles that have not been tackled such as busy urban areas and regulations. Also revealed other use for drones: crop dusting and train track control checks.

Drone Delivery: How Would it Work? - CNN Article
This article reveals the thoughts of the Amazon Drone Delivery System, the radius these drones might fly, how they plan to handle safety issues etc. My issue with this article is however that I cannot find backup to support what CEO Jeff Bezos says about the logistics and plans. My assumption is that because this is still in progress and a new market strategy, that this information is held internally in Amazon and will be VERY DIFFICULT to get out. Making it difficult to address the question above.

[1] [2]

There are also news articles about drone delivery trial runs, but cannot find any statistical conclusions on the deliveries.

Delivery Statistics/Fact Sheets
FedEx annual Stats
UPS Fact Sheet

Other Companies testing Drone Delivery

  • SF Express
  • Zookal
  • Google

Amazons Petition to FAA Rules
FAA Unmanned Aircraft Information Last Mile Delivery - What is it?

Interesting Read
Dronenet - This man suggests a Dronenet where houses have landing pads and people can send and receive to anyone (very rough idea), I already see some logistical problems with this but I liked the concept.

09-09 Personal conclusion from my source searching

Thoughts on basis of the "articles" I've found. Commercial Drone Delivery is hard to find information on because it is mostly internal documents of companies; It is a new market strategy that will most likely hit next year sometime somewhere when Federal Regulations are cleared. So....they can test the functionality of their delivery systems then. Furthermore, statistics about deliveries of current companies such as UPS and FedEx would not be smart to use because they also consider person to person distribution in their statistics and not e-commerce distribution (warehouse to buyer). Also manipulating the data so it translates from country-scaled, annual deliveries to city-wide, weekly deliveries would cause a skew in the data. Also, if we are considering drone delivery for the last mile of a package delivery system, then those stats are even more scarce to find. So....what can we do now?


I am interested to learn more about design methodology for I think it will help tremendously in the future. Also the ideas we have brainstormed thus far seem different and all equally interesting so we shall see what will come of it.


While talking to my friend about this project he made an interesting point about "do people actually want this? Even if it is happening?". I thought this could hook on to the User and Society aspect of use. We could possibly make a survey targeting various different topics involved in drone delivery & the mailbox. (ie. safety concerns, noise/disturbance, change in how you get mail) also we can get some "statics" about how often people get package deliveries and why/what they get delivered just too see how the market is.

We specifically have to hit 1 USE aspect of course. I would say focus on the USER - being the mailman & mail receiver. How would installing our design help/hinder their experience? What could change? Can these changes be prevented through design? Also survey about users concerns for such a delivery/design - possibly aiding in our design process.