It seems that Amazon is not the only company interested in delivering goods with the help of drones, as the recently tested Google X Project Wing suggests.
Self-driving cars will soon be joined by autonomous drones that take over the skies to deliver either shopped goods or packages vital for disaster relief. Earlier this month, a 5-foot wide, 2.5-foot high drone that’s part of Google X Project Wing delivered candy bars, dog treats, cattle vaccines, water and radios to two farmers in Queensland, Australia.
Google X’s Astro Teller pointed out in a interview with the BBC that the delivery of goods is not the only scenario these drones could prove useful for: “Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation.”
Teller also expressed the final goal of the drone-delivery program: “What excited us from the beginning was that if the right thing could find anybody just in the moment that they need it, the world might be radically better place.”
Watching the self-flying vehicles take off is all but something ordinary. The drone is positioned vertically, with its tip facing upwards, and with the help of its four electrically-driven propellers it takes to the skies. Once it reaches an altitude of 130 feet to 200 feet, the drone changes its orientation to the horizontal position necessary for flight.
An interesting fact is that the combined weight of the drone and of the package to be delivered cannot exceed 22 pounds. Should the drones be used for commercial purposes (a thing that’s currently banned in the U.S.), they won’t be able to deliver video game consoles or hefty computer parts. As a joke, a commenter on The Verge said that the drone would, in theory, be capable of delivering two babies. It was about time those gorram storks were replaced by some modern tech!
Assuming that these drones are not excessively noisy, I wouldn’t mind if the deliveries of small objects was done using them exclusively. The next logical step of Google would be to use such drones for providing Internet. After all, I don’t think that Mountain View bought drone maker Titan Aerospace for nothing. One thing is certain, though, Google won’t stop here with its self-flying vehicles.
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