Connect with us

Tech News

Walmart launches drone delivery pilot

Published

on

Your next Walmart order might descend from the skies, with the retailer announcing a new on-demand drone delivery pilot. The scheme will focus on small deliveries, with select grocery and household essentials slung underneath specially-designed drones and flown over to customers.

It’s launching from today, though you’ll need to be in Fayetteville, North Carolina in order to actually try it out. Walmart has piloted with Flytrex, a company which is already running drone delivery schemes such as for COVID-19 tests.

The drones themselves are larger than the typical DJI, Skydio, or Parrot consumer model. They can fly at up to 32 mph using six rotors, the delivery box containing the Walmart order mounted underneath. When they reach their destination, they’re not designed to land; instead, the contents of the box are lowered on a wire, with the drone hovering eighty feet in the air.

It means that there are no concerns with landing or launching the drone from a garden or driveway, and avoids customers coming anywhere near the aircraft’s spinning propeller blades. Flytrex says that it can operate in winds of up to 18 mph, and carry up to 6.6 pounds of cargo for distances of 3.5 miles from the launch location. Normally, they fly at 230 feet, but they require dry days with no rain.

As for piloting, that’s done autonomously. Flytex uses maps that prioritize routes which avoid flying over people, and there are redundant motors, navigation, and even an automatic parachute system should the very worst happen. There are no cameras onboard either, for privacy concerns: instead the drones navigate through GPS and other sensors.

It’s a long way from being a ubiquitous service, of course. “We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone,” Tom Ward, Senior Vice President of Customer Product at Walmart, concedes. “That still feels like a bit of science fiction, but we’re at a point where we’re learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers’ lives easier.”

The retailer hasn’t been afraid of looking to new technology. Back in June, it experimented with a cashier less grocery story, using self-checkout technology that avoided the traditional scanner and conveyor belt. Walmart has also been looking at how autonomous cars could be used for short-range deliveries, bypassing human operators.

Still, it’s likely that this drone delivery pilot will only amplify comparisons between Walmart and its key rival, Amazon. Amazon Prime Air has also been experimenting with using drones to deliver packages, with its own in-house design of aircraft. Neither service has broad availability at this point, however, with a variety of cost, safety, and regulatory hurdles still to be navigated.

Continue Reading

Tech News

12 Best Uses For Old Laptops

Published

on

Have one (or several) old laptops lying around your home? What you actually have is a productivity master waiting to reach its full potential

Continue Reading

Tech News

Realme’s Next Premium Tablet Looks To Have An Unusual Design

Published

on

Even though we still have six days before the Realme Pad X launches in China, some of the specs of the Realme Pad X have already been confirmed by Realme’s CMO Xu Qi Chase, GSMArena claims. We know that this mid-range tablet will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. This also means that the Realme Pad X will become the first Realme tablet to feature 5G connectivity. While the CMO did not reveal the rest of the specs, there’s been rumors about the likelihood of the Realme Pad fetting a QHD+ display that could also support a 120 Hz refresh rate.

From the images, it is also evident that the Realme Pad X gets a single rear-facing camera that is situated on an unusually large camera bump. There is a smaller circle below the rear camera with a prominent “AI” logo. The tablet also skips an LED flash for low-light situations.

Designwise, the Realme Pad looks like a contemporary tablet with small bezels and flat sides. One of the invites also showcases the Realme Pad X being used with a stylus. It remains to be seen if this accessory will be part of the retail package or an optional extra. With the launch date for this product a week away, there is a good chance that we could have additional details about the Realme Pad X before the official launch.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Revealed As The Heart Of Your Next Android Flagship Phone

Published

on

Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor continues to be based on a 4nm manufacturing process — albeit this time from TSMC. This change has allowed Qualcomm to increase the GPU and CPU clock speeds by up to 7%. The result is that the Prime Cortex X2 is now clocked at 3.2 GHz (as opposed to 3 GHz on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1). Similarly, the 3x Cortex A710 core now clocks at 2.8 GHz (compared to 2.5 GHz earlier).

Then we have the 4x Cortex A-510 efficiency cores that also see a jump from 1.8 GHz to 2 GHz. While Qualcomm is yet to reveal the clock speeds for the Adreno GPU on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1, they already claim a 10% higher clock speed in the promotional materials.

The rest of the hardware on the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is similar to that of its predecessor — and this includes the X65 integrated modem as well. The new chip continues to support 3200 MHz LPDDR5 RAM, and the ISP used is the same, with support for 200 MP resolution, 8K video capture, and 64 MP burst capture. In terms of encoding, the chip retains support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. A glaring omission, this time around too, is the lack of support for the AV1 codec.

In simpler terms, apart from the faster performance on account of the supposedly better manufacturing process, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 does not add anything over its predecessor in terms of additional features.

Continue Reading

Trending