Drone builder: Amazon ambitions could take a decade

Dec 4, 2013

Earlier this week, Amazon.com announced it may start delivering packages carried by unmanned aerial drones.  But Matt Schroyer says that could take at least a decade, once regulations are ironed out with the Federal Aviation Administration.  Schroyer teaches students in Champaign County how to build drones, as part of a National Science Foundation grant to improve science education in the classroom.  In the short-term, he expects drone technology to play a large role in agriculture.

“Part of it is not just distributing pesticides and water, but also you’re looking at collecting images of your crops. You can tell what parts of your farm need the most attention and which parts don’t, so that you can minimize your input so far as chemicals and water and maximize your yield.”

 Similar to what Amazon-dot-com wants to do with delivering packages, Schroyer also thinks hospitals might one day use drones to transport organs and medication.  This year, Illinois enacted a bill limiting some uses of drones, and another bill expanding their use by law enforcement.