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Unmanned drones and remote-controlled locks could soon spell the end to missed parcel deliveries. We take a look at the future of home delivery.


From military missions to unbeatable aerial images, drones are transforming our airspace, but Amazon has plans to put their own fleet of electronic bugs to good use by offering an unmanned and quite literal, drop off delivery direct to your door, back garden, even rooftop. With Prime Air, Amazon hopes to be able to offer 30-minute delivery slots for a whole selection of on-demand products. The specially engineered drones will be able to drop off 5lb parcels up to 10miles away from their base, all in a matter of minutes, rather than days. Sounds like science fiction, but Amazon is extremely serious, and the development team already includes aeronautical engineers, roboticists and even a former NASA astronaut.


But why fly when you can take the pavement Starship Technologies, a company launched by Ahti Heinla, one of the co-founders of Skype, has ambitious plans to introduce self-driving delivery robots across London. The six-wheeled Starship robots, each capable of carrying two shopping bags and travelling at a pedestrian-friendly 7kph, will be able to delivery your shopping home, with a range of 3km in just 30minutes. Controlled via a series of GPS-guided 3G-connected cameras, sensors, and if needed a real person in a control centre, the robots can be opened via PIN code and give anyone the chance to buy bulky goods without a car and have them quickly escorted home. Already roaming the streets of Greenwich, and with USA trials to begin in April 2016, the cost of robot delivery is as little as £1 which, given the cost of a taxi back from the supermarket, is more than reasonable.

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Keyless door entry is nothing new, even fingerprint scanners have been around for decades, but the smart home revolution is rejuvenating the hi-tech lock with features way beyond simple remote access. Smart lock innovators August has recently announced a whole series of partnerships (in America for now), known as August Access with home service providers including cleaners, elderly carers, dog walkers and delivery drivers given instant access to your home via Bluetooth smartphone or PIN code. Safe, hi-tech and convenient, the concept of being able to give specific people access to our homes at set times has it merits, especially if it means the end of the dreaded card from the Postman.

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