Drones are ready to take off into widespread use.

They’re going mainstream, helping deliver medical supplies, inspecting hard to reach places, responding to emergencies, and, of course, delivering online orders.

Quartz News looks at how very close we are to making drones safe enough to operate across the skies.

Vijay Kumar is one of the top roboticists in the world, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Dean of Penn Engineering, former director of GRASP lab, or the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Laboratory at Penn that was established back in 1979, 40 years ago.

Vijay is perhaps best known for his work in multi-robot systems (or robot swarms) and micro aerial vehicles, robots that elegantly cooperate in flight under all the uncertainty and challenges that real-world conditions present.

This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast run by Lex Fridman.

The future of shipping looks very much unmanned.

Today, container ships transport more than 90% of all goods in the world, but it can take over a month for those goods to sail from Beijing to New York. Automated cargo drones could be the disruption needed in a global supply chain that has been largely unchanged since the 1950s. By land, trucks move nearly 71% of all freight tonnage in the US, but there’s a shortage of truck drivers in the United States. So how do you speed up shipments while keeping personnel low?

I think we know how.