Amazon's drone-delivery service may be a little fanciful, but it looks as if another company is working to make something similar to it a reality. Workhorse has applied to the FAA for special permission to begin testing drone deliveries made from the back of one of the firm's electric cargo vans. The idea is simple enough: as the truck makes its rounds, the roof-mounted HorseFly UAV selects, transports and drops off a parcel right outside the recipient's front door. The neat trick to all of this would be that the system is autonomous, with the human operator only keeping an eye on the landing to ensure there's no accidents.
The HorseFly was designed with short-journey deliveries in mind, and is expected to fly for half an hour carrying 10 pounds. It was built as a partnership between Workhorse and the University of Cincinnati and will have wireless charging so that its batteries can re-juice between drop-offs. Since it's nearly impossible for a drone to travel super long distances with heavy cargo, Amazon's idea of delivering packages from its nearest warehouse seems a bit silly. This system, on the other hand, seems to have plenty of potential.
[Image Credit: University of Cincinnati]