A few days ago we reported on the latest Google news, that it acquired Zync Visual Effects Company and today we’ve got something even better: news about Google’s Project Wing: a drone that delivers aid to remote areas.
Project Wing is developed by the same team that came up with the idea for and created the Google self-driving car. The device behind the project is a drone, an unmanned flying device, whose purpose is to deliver aid to inaccessible areas.
Google admitted that it has built and tested a flying drone and that it hopes they will help people by delivering aid in areas that are hard to access, following natural disasters, for example. Google X is the company’s tech research arm that created Google’s Project Wing and it is also behind the driverless car, Google Glass and other moonshot projects.
The drone was tested in Queensland, Australia, at the beginning of August. It was used to deliver various goods, among which chocolate, dog treats, water and radios, to people. The device already has 30 successful flights under its belt.
Google revealed how it chose the items for the drone to deliver:
Based on several conversations with local people – ranging from emergency services teams to fire crews to farmers – about how aerial delivery might help them in their jobs. The first delivery flight took off carrying Cherry Ripe chocolate bars to its planned destination: a farm about 1km away. Within minutes, the vehicle arrived, hovered overhead and gently lowered the package to the ground. When [the farmer] retrieved the package, he was delighted to find one of his favorite snacks, something he’d usually purchase in town nearly 10km away.
The device has four rotor blades with which it manages to hover 60 meters above the ground, while flying. The drone is 0.8 meters long; it has a wingspan of 1.5 meters and a small compartment used to deliver goods on the bottom.
While the main purpose of the drone is to provide disaster relief, says Google, the possibilities for a small drone are really quite endless. It also added that it plans to focus on four key areas of the device over the next year: reducing the noise of the drone, installing an end-to-end delivery system, precise navigation and safety systems.
Google also added:
Over time there will be many different vehicle types and shapes: what you want to deliver and where and why will determine what vehicle you want to use.
What are your thoughts on Google’s Project Wing? Does this seem like a good idea? Drop us a line in the comment section below.