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Jeff Bezos meets the octocopter

Amazon octocopter

Amazon PrimeAir

Amazon octocopter clamps hold

Amazon PrimeAir package

Octocopter in flight

Amazon PrimeAir at its destination

On "60 Minutes" Sunday, CBS' Charlie Rose got a surprise from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: octocopters. Bezos said that within about five years, Amazon could be winging packages to your home from its fulfillment centers in as little as 30 minutes, using drones. Of course, the Federal Aviation Administration will have to give its blessing first.

(Disclosure: "60 Minutes" is produced by CBS, the parent company of CNET.)

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Amazon's octocopters are about the size of a microwave, but they're mostly just frame and rotors. While drone aircraft used by the military and the CIA have come under sometimes intense criticism, Amazon has a more benign and ordinary expectation for the fleet it envisions.
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Bearing the name Amazon PrimeAir, the octocopter could be bad news for delivery truck drivers. It's also meant to show off Amazon's more adventuresome side. "We like to pioneer, we like to explore, we like to go down dark alleys and see what's on the other side," Bezos told "60 Minutes."
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After rolling down a conveyor belt, a PrimeAir package gets clamped into the undercarriage of an octocopter.
Caption by / Photo by by CNET
Bezos said the current generation of octocopters can carry a 5-pound package -- and 5-pound packages account for 86 percent of the items that Amazon delivers.
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The Amazon octocopters could wing their way from warehouse to customer doorstep in 30 minutes, Bezos said.
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An Amazon PrimeAir octocopter shows how it makes a smooth landing at a customer's home. It did not ring the doorbell.
Caption by / Photo by by CNET
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