Delivering by drones 用無人機送快遞

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無人機的用途很多,從保護人們免受瘧疾危害到向偏遠地區發送郵件,使用這種技術的新方法一直在研發中。本文介紹無人機的最新用途。

詞彙:Technology 科技

Technology is developing by leaps and bounds. A gadget as small as a smartphone now has more processing power than rockets to the Moon once had. New tech brings many advantages, making our lives easier and opening up new opportunities. One piece of kit that’s been really taking off recently is the drone. This pilotless mini aircraft, originally developed for aerial photography and warfare, is now bringing us benefits closer to home. In the last few years, tech companies such as Amazon, Alphabet and Uber have promised us delivery drones – bringing goods to our doorsteps in a matter of minutes. Progress in developing them has, however, been slow.

Drones are helping to connect with and enhance the lives of people in remote locations. In the UK, the Royal Mail wants a fleet of 500 drones to help deliver the mail to far-flung communities. Windracers, the company developing the drones, say they can fly in fog and produce 30% fewer emissions than comparable piloted aircraft. And in Coventry in the UK, construction has started on an air hub, which will act as a base for police and delivery drones. Urban-Air Port Limited is working with car-maker Hyundai on the mini-airport, known as a skyport.

Drones could also play a part in improving the health of millions of people. In Zanzibar, for example, they’re being used to spray wetlands against malaria. And writing for BBC Future website, Harriet Constable describes an incredible development project by the University of South Australia. The plan is for drones to eventually be able to survey populations for disease by reading the blood oxygen levels of humans from the air. They’ll also be able to scan for other vital signs, like coughing and a high temperature.

It seems the sky’s the limit for what drone technology can achieve. The only thing that sometimes keeps it grounded is regulation. Writing for the BBC, Jessica Brown says: 「If our skies are to become as crowded as our streets, airspace rules need updating to prevent accidents.」 There are also related problems, such as noise pollution.

詞彙表

by leaps and bounds 突飛猛進地,非常迅速地
gadget 小設備
processing power (計算機)處理(數據)能力
tech 科技設備
kit 成套裝備
drone 無人機
pilotless 無人駕駛的
aircraft 飛機,飛行器
aerial photography 航空攝影
delivery drone 交付無人機,物流無人機
fleet 機隊
emissions 碳排放
piloted 有人駕駛的
air hub 航空樞紐
skyport 小機場
spray 噴灑
survey 檢查
scan 掃瞄
the sky’s the limit 沒有限制的
grounded 停飛的
airspace 領空
noise pollution 噪音污染

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How quickly do tech companies want to deliver goods to your home?

2. Where does the UK’s Royal Mail want to deliver mail to by drone?

3. What might drones be able to do to check for disease in a community?

4. True or false? Drones work by having a mini pilot on board.

5. According to Jessica Brown, why do we need to update airspace rules?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The bus company has bought a new _______ of electric vehicles.

hub                            fleet                           gadget                            survey

2. The speed of our broadband connection has improved _______.

by leap and bound                                       by leaps of bounds

by bounds and leaps                                    by leaps and bounds

3. London’s Heathrow airport is a _______ for much of the UK’s international flights.

skyport                       kit                               grounded                        hub

4. My laptop has great _______, so it’s much quicker than yours.

process power           processed power        processing power           power process

5. The _______ say we have to have smoke alarms installed in every room.

emissions                  skyport                        drones                            regulations

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。 

1. How quickly do tech companies want to deliver goods to your home?
Quickly – in a matter of minutes.

2. Where does the UK’s Royal Mail want to deliver mail to by drone?
The Royal Mail wants a fleet of 500 drones to help deliver the mail to far-flung communities.

3. What might drones be able to do to check for any disease in a community?
They may be able to survey populations for disease by reading the blood oxygen levels of humans from the air and scan for other vital signs, like coughing and a high temperature.

4. True or false? Drones work by having a mini pilot on board.
False. Drones are mini aircraft that have no pilot.

5. According to Jessica Brown, why do we need to update airspace rules?
Jessica Brown says: 「If our skies are to become as crowded as our streets, airspace rules need updating to prevent accidents, terrorist attacks, and related problems, such as noise pollution.」

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The bus company has bought a new fleet of electric vehicles.

2. The speed of our broadband connection has improved by leaps and bounds.

3. London’s Heathrow airport is a hub for much of the UK’s international flights.

4. My laptop has great processing power, so it’s much quicker than yours.

5. The regulations say we have to have smoke alarms installed in every room.