Like a, the drone can do vertical takeoffs and landings, but it can also fly around aerodynamically like an airplane. It can easily switch between those modes too, Amazon says, and it's fully shrouded for safety.
Jeff Wilke, Amazon's global head of consumer business, introduced the new device at AI event on machine learning, automation, robotics, and .", in Las Vegas, which the company bills as "a new global
Wilke said the drone's propellers were optimized to reduce high-frequency sounds.
"Just because you want your package delivered quickly doesn't mean you want you or your neighbors to hear it coming," Wilke told a crowd during a keynote address.
The drone will keep a lookout for things that might get in the way as it descends, using a combination of stereo vision and AI algorithms "trained to detect people and animals from above," Amazon said in a blog post.
The new drone was revealed amid Amazon's massive investment to. Delivery because of the need for regulatory approvals. But Amazon is hoping to use these devices to get customers items that weigh five pounds or less in about 30 minutes, helping it deliver products to shoppers much faster.
Getting drones approved could bring about an even bigger change in consumer shopping, pushing more purchasing to online stores like Amazon and away from local shops and big-box brick-and-mortar stores.
Wilke said the new delivery drones will be shipping packages to customers in months, though he offered few details. When asked later by reporters where these drones could end up, Wilke said he didn't have any announcement Wednesday on that issue but said Amazon is working with regulatory agencies to launch a commercial drone-delivery service, which Amazon has previously said it's doing.
The company is already pilotingand has approval to test drone deliveries in the US.
Wilke was also asked if there would be many kinds of Amazon drones going forward. He replied: "This is my favorite one now and we're going to keep working on them," adding that there will probably be a fleet sometime in the future, with "different birds for different reasons."
Originally published June 5.
Updated June 5 and June 6: Added more information about Amazon's drones.