Over the past few months, everybody’s been talking about Amazon’s same-day delivery drones.
While the world has been talking about Amazon, Google has been quietly developing a similar service of its own.
Google unveiled the results of its project today. It’s called Project Wing and it’s designed to deliver goods over the air. Check out the video Google released:
In that video, we see Project Wing delivering dog food to some homestead in the Australian Outback. Crazy, right?
The self-flying drones have been successful in early test flights so far. In that video, we see the drones traveling over the land following a mapped route.
Obviously, they’re in the middle of the Queensland outback and there doesn’t appear to be anything around, so it’s not like there are gigantic skyscrapers to avoid.
Amazingly enough, the drones don’t actually land on the ground. Instead, the prototype simply carries a Styrofoam-wrapped package using a cable, lowers that package to the ground, and then flies away to make another delivery.
“Years from a product”
Unfortunately for futurologists, Google claims that the drone service is “years from a product” and that they need to make sure it’s safe, accurate, and reliable before they would even think about using it.
Still, the early prototype looks promising.
The prototype is a small, white, glossy machine which features a blended wing design. The design allows the “entire body” of the aircraft to provide lift.
On the ground, the vehicle rests with its propellers pointed vertically into the air before switching those propellers horizontal once ready to fly. That design is important because it lets the drones take off without a runway while still generating strong forward movement speeds. Unlike other quadcopter-style drone designs, which use vertical propellers, Google’s Project Wing could actually go really fast.
Ten years from now, our skies could be filled with low-flying drones delivering products to and from people’s doorsteps. That’s really cool.