Hobbyists Already Getting A Taste Of Amazon’s Drone Techology

(CBS) — It sounds like pure science fiction: using drone helicopters to deliver packages.

The plan was first revealed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on “60 Minutes” over the weekend.

But CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley went to Elmhurst and found the basic technology is anything but out of this world.

It’s a plan that would use Buck Rodgers technology to make the delivery man a thing of the past.

Bezos says the small drone helicopters can carry up to five pounds, which covers 86 percent of the packages Amazon delivers. Items could be delivered in a half hour.

What may seem like the technology of tomorrow has really already arrived.

“The technology is here,” says Dennis McFarlane of Al’s Hobby Shop in Elmhurst. “The technology that’s available in this unit for $300, a little over $300, is absolutely amazing.”

The one he demonstrated has four rotors – not the eight rotors of an Amazon drone — but it carries a camera, and can fly via GPS.

“Somebody’s going to figure out how to make it faster and fly higher and lift more weight. That’s what we do in this country, that’s what experimenters do,” McFarlane says.

The FAA has spent years studying regulations for drones. There are particular concerns about airports and potential interference with regular aircraft.

Al’s Hobby Shop says the drone choppers are so cheap and so much fun they’re one of the most popular items for Christmas.

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