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Day 54 – Q 4. Drones and robotics have the potential to revolutionise the supply chain in e-commerce. Do you agree? Substantiate with the help of suitable examples.

4. Drones and robotics have the potential to revolutionise the supply chain in e-commerce. Do you agree? Substantiate with the help of suitable examples. 

ड्रोन और रोबोटिक्स में कॉमर्स में आपूर्ति श्रृंखला में क्रांति लाने की क्षमता है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से सारगर्भित करें।


The global drone and logistics market was worth US$24 million in 2018, a number that is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2027. Behind this growth is an ever-increasing need to transport goods more efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way.


The boom in e-commerce has increased consumer expectation and this has meant goods have to move quicker than traditional methods allow. While drones and robotics are already utilized to transport high-value or emergency cargo, they could potentially revolutionize the supply chain in e-commerce –

  • With the roads and seas highly congested, drones have the potential to increase efficiency, as well as cut emissions, costs and waste.
  • Robots are showing up in last mile delivery, including drones, unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), the so-called “office refrigerator on wheels.” Recently, startups, such as Marble and Dispatch, have commenced exploring the possibility of using Android like robots as delivery professionals in last mile logistics
  • Autonomous trucks, “driverless trucks,” are already a major player, with some companies valued at nearly $1 billion.
  • Last mile automation through drones and robotics is the natural progression of the internet, electrification, sensing and actuation technology, and mobile apps.
  • Logistics companies like DHL and organizations like Amazon and Google are developing and experimenting with drones to do just that, especially for lightweight consumer goods. Amazon is truly already practicing the effective use of robotics in logistics with the purchase of Kiva Systems, which was renamed to Amazon Robotics, just lat month.
  • At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots

Some technology limitations also remain to be addressed. Battery life is limited, which constrains operational range. Most successful drone deliveries so far have been in rural areas as in urban areas, unmanned drones are more challenged to maneuver. Another concern is weather – will drones be able to operate in high winds or rain while keeping packages safe? If UAVs can only deliver in certain weather conditions, their impact on the last-mile of supply chain management may be limited.


From helping small store owners streamline their supply chains and increase stocking efficiency, to speeding up checkouts, drones and robotics is a massive jump beyond anything in use today.

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