Rise of the Drones

Google Takes the Wraps Off Its Super Secret Drone Delivery Program

It's totally different than Amazon's idea. Sure!
Google drone! (Photo: Google)

Google drone! (Photo: Google)

Oh good, even more drones to be petrified of. This time it’s from Google.

After more than two years of research, the company’s research lab Google X announced Project Wing last night. The plan is to use the flying robots to deliver packages within minutes to its destination. Hmm, that sounds mildly similar to Amazon’s, which is also planning to use drones as delivery vehicles.

Anyway, the type of drone that Google is using is slightly larger than others. Its wingspan clocks in at 5 feet and has four electrically-powered propellers. Testing has been conducted in Queensland, Australia where it has dropped first aid kids, dog treats, and water to farmers in the remote area.

Project Wing is led by Nicholas Roy, a professor at M.I.T. who took a sabbatical for the project, notes The New York Times. He’s joined by dozens of other people who are developing some sort of drone delivery app. There are still a lot of specifics to be nailed down per the NYT:

In terms of how the actual delivery would be handled, Google said it tried the parachute approach (like in The Hunger Games), as well as shooting the package downward like a missile. They also tried landing it, but that was problematic because Google believed people might get too close to the vehicle and lose a finger to the drone’s rotors while trying to fetch their delivery.

And there’s that little government agency called the FAA. They haven’t been so keen about drones zipping around the skies, but Google said it has briefed them about it.

Don’t expect a Google drone anytime soon. It has least a few more years before it can do battle with Amazon.

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