Google announces Project Wing, developing aerial drones

KGO logo
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Amazon isn't the only one looking to the heavens for our parcel problems. Google has just announced they're entering the commercial drone business in a new video posted to YouTube. Watch below.

Tap to see video if you're viewing on news app.

Project Wing, the new development initiative under Google to create these self-flying aircrafts, had previously been kept top secret. In this video, the research team traveled to Queensalnd, Australia to conduct test flights of their prototype drone. Video-documenting the test, in which Wing model Chickadee 6 successfully dropped a care package to an isolated Australian farmer's home, the concept burgeoning on reality is stunning to behold.

"The goal of being here is to show that the hard work over the last two years has resulted in a reliable system that can do autonomous delivery," said Project Wing founder Nicholas Roy.

The design seems to combine the typical modes of a propeller aircraft and a quadcopter: utilizing the spinning blades to launch off the ground and hover much like a helicopter, though flying more like a prop-plane when traveling. This differs from Amazon's design, which is an octocopter, with double the amount of spinning blades.

According to Google, the dropped package contained a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water.

Prior to the video announcement, Project Wing had been kept top secret by Google.

It's been well over a decade since the Internet replaced the vast majority of mailing needs, though the shipping of packages has only continued to rise thanks to online retail. As online businesses have single-handedly pushed the demand for parcel services, it seems befitting that online tech giants like Google and Amazon are trying to provide a supply solution.

What could you use a drone for? Let us know in the comments below.