Amazon is working with the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to run a competition for schoolchildren to design their own drones. Which means we may never be safe from the buggers ever again.
The imaginatively-named 'Design A Drone' contest intends to teach kids about the CAA's Drone Code, a kind of Green Cross Code for the air. Rules include "always keep your drone in sight" and "stay well away from aircraft."
Kids in years two to five across the country are eligible to enter, and the national winner will get a tour of the Amazon Prime Air drone-delivery facility in Cambridge where their design will be shown for a year. The 12 regional winners also get a bundle of prizes for their school, and hopefully something for themselves too – I was pretty peeved as a kid when my amazing Teletext poem won a £100 book voucher and the school got to keep it.
That said, the prizes include Amazon Fire tablets, so maybe they won't mind.
The competition's aims are noble: the children will be designing delivery drones "to serve a humanitarian purpose or improve society." So presumably ones that fire Nerf darts from the skies are out.
Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Director of Comms at the CAA, explains:
"While we absolutely want everyone to have fun with their drones, safety must always be the top priority. This partnership with Amazon is part of a wider initiative looking at establishing a safe and responsible attitude toward drone flying.
By educating school children now about the basic safe flying rules we can help to protect both the safety of the public and aviation industry and the opportunities for drones in the future."
Well, that's a relief. You can find out more and encourage your nearest nipper to enter on the website.