Amazon's drone workshop opened to Cambridge schoolchildren

Amazon's drone workshop opened to Cambridge schoolchildren

A group of Cambridge schoolchildren have been given access to Amazon's drone development laboratory in the city, in a tour described as the first of its kind in the world. 

Local newspaper the Cambridge Evening News was also given access to report the event.

Amazon's drone workshop is located in Castle Park, central Cambridge, the location of start-up EVI Technologies which Amazon bought in 2012. It is one of a number of sites in the country working to develop Amazon's Prime Air service, which is intended to see drones delivering packages to people's homes in under 30 minutes. 

Amazon's largest outdoor drone test site is located approximately eight miles away. 

On the tour, schoolchildren from Steeple Morden Primary School were shown drone prototypes and the 3D printing technology which allows the workshop to make parts for the drones.

Packages that weigh just over 2kg, which make up 87% of items sold on Amazon, can be delivered by drone as far as 15 miles. The drone uses GPS coordinates to find its delivery destination and will fly to a maximum height of 400 foot before identifying a marker for it to land and deliver the package using a "sense and avoid" system, reports the Cambridge Evening News.

Kristen Kish, corporate communications for Prime Air, told the newspaper: “We're continuing to do more and more in Cambridgeshire. It's continuing to be an area of significance and importance for Amazon. We want to get the talent and want to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with students here, it's just so important we're promoting that science."She added: “We have a really strong base here in the UK and a lot of opportunity here, our customers are fantastic. Cambridge is a hub of innovation, it has a long history of doing amazing things. For us it really made good sense – there is fantastic talent here too."

Amazon has hitherto been reticent about the details of its drone testing activities.