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Google Transportation Technology

Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing' 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the ok-google-bring-me-a-pizza dept.
rtoz writes: Google's research division, Google X, is developing a fleet of drones to deliver goods. This drone delivery system is called "Project Wing," and Google X has been developing it in secret for the past two years. During a recent test in Australia, drones successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers. The self-flying vehicle uses four electrically-driven propellers to get around, and it has a wingspan of about five feet. It weighs just under 19 pounds and can take off and land without a runway. Google's long-term goal is to develop drones that could be used for disaster relief by delivering aid to isolated areas.
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Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

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  • X-Wing deliveries?

    Sorry, but that was just begging for a Star Wars reference.

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Friday August 29, 2014 @09:04AM (#47783625)

    A hurricane hits the southern United States, as hurricanes tend to do. Thousands of people are without food or water, and desperate to get somewhere with food and shelter. Suddenly, a thousand Google drones descend from the sky, carrying much-needed supplies. The people rush toward the landing zones, only to hear:

    "Please log in with your Google + account."

    One brave man attempts to do so, and the voice continues.

    "I'm sorry, but Google now offers new account options. You can choose to merge your existing account, xxNarutoFan93xx, with your personal email registered to Robert Smith. Would you like to do that now and get a free Google + page, or do you have an existing brand or company and not wish to change your displayed name at this time?"

    Like the riddle of the Sphinx, the pointless options are too much for poor Robert Smith, alias xxNarutoFan93xx, who slinks back into the crowd, still hungry and thirsty.

  • No matter whether it is Google or Amazon who gets this technology running first, and whether it is banned in America for a while, but this is our sci-fi future happening now, and it is amazingly cool to watch.
    • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday August 29, 2014 @09:24AM (#47783731) Homepage Journal

      I don't know about you, but I've felt I lived in a sci-fi future since at least smartphones.

      Then I remember my smart phone is assembled by an underclass of near slaves with appalling working conditions, whose suffering is hidden from me by layers of marketing, bureaucracy, and inter-corporate supply chains, and I realize, no, it's a cyber-punk future, actually.

      I'm just not on the punk side, but instead the blaise upper class side that gets hacked by up-and-coming rebels in cyberpunk stories.

    • by Dan Askme (2895283) on Friday August 29, 2014 @09:37AM (#47783809)

      No matter whether it is Google or Amazon who gets this technology running first, and whether it is banned in America for a while, but this is our sci-fi future happening now, and it is amazingly cool to watch.

      If you consider "cool" as:
      - You falling for Viral Marketing

      Then yeah, i suppose its "cool". But to most of us, this is just a clear viral marketing attempt.
      Its basic marketing, increase awareness for the company, increase profits.

      Amazon did a few months ago, profits and awareness of the company increase.
      But yet, wheres the drones or updates on them? Nowhere, why? Because everyone knows they just wouldn't work in our current world, let alone the laws that would prevent its flight.

      This is clear viral marketing, dont be the fool and fall for it.

      • by ScentCone (795499)

        Because everyone knows they just wouldn't work in our current world, let alone the laws that would prevent its flight.

        But we have laws, passed by the legislature, that mandate the FAA publish new rules specifically covering the integration of this sort of thing into the NAS by 2015. The Obama administration has said, though, that they won't comply with the law, and are taking every opportunity to hinder this sort of thing. There's a reason that outfits like Google are now spending money, hiring, and testing in other countries: because those countries are less hostile to ventures like this.

        There's absolutely NO reason i

      • Amazon recently announced it was getting into the advertisement business, and it beat out Google to acquire Twitch.

        Pure speculation on my part, but I have to wonder if this is just Google's CEO trying to steal some of the spotlight away from Amazon?

        Suddenly, Google is saying, "Oh yeah... delivery drones. We've been doing this for some time now." It smells like petty CEO bickering. (As cool as delivery drones are.)

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Amazon recently announced it was getting into the advertisement business, and it beat out Google to acquire Twitch.

          Pure speculation on my part, but I have to wonder if this is just Google's CEO trying to steal some of the spotlight away from Amazon?

          The real reason Amazon scooped Twitch and not Google was Google was worried about anti-trust issues if it bought Twitch [forbes.com] .

          Amazon didn't get Twitch because they paid more than Google (Google offered more), Google walked away worried. Twitch probably egged Amazon o

    • by alen (225700)

      the scifi future seems to always be to suck up money from people with impulse control issues who want something NOW and are willing to pay big bucks for it and whine why it should be cheaper

      preloading digital games so you can play the second the game goes live
      one click shopping
      digital media with no refunds even if you never use it or watch it

  • Well it's seems Google is making a serious step toward a literally robotic future. That seems to be pretty obvious with its driverless car project. But when Google first acquired a fistful of robotics-related companies, some commentators speculated it was to allow Google to more effectively "mine" the data that would be flowing from what's effectively a mobile data scanner. Google already has Streetview and its book scanning project, so this, the reasoning went, is where Google's new robotic technologies wi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Five feet is about one and a half meter.
    19 pounds is about 18.6 kg.

  • I haven't shot skeet in a long time. It's time to start practicing again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] Either that or I could just pick up Falconry. [wikipedia.org]

  • I don't understand how this fits in to Google's business model. Amazon, I understood -- but Google is an advertising firm. They don't sell tangible products that require delivery. Why do they care about how things are delivered when they don't deliver anything?
    • Google is actually in the delivery business - see their Google Shopping Express.

      But no, this is not part of their core business – this falls into one of their moonshot projects. Personally, I don't like when companies move out of their core. General Motors going into IT consulting, Apple Computers going into MP3 players, Microsoft going into MP3 players, Amazon moving away from books into cloud services. etc. Historically these ventures generate piss poor returns for the owners. Generally these things

    • by Issarlk (1429361)
      Well, is there a best way to know your consuming habits than to sell and deliver everything ?
  • Pulled through the mangle of reality. The future is now.

  • Google is always doing weird experimental shit. So this is not news.

    What would be news is what FedEx or UPS are working on wrt drones. Imagine a FedEx jet flying high over a city, its bombay doors opening to spill out a fleet drone quadcopters that deliver the goods to designated rooftop landing pads. Imagine a world where technology is paying as much attention to the last 2,000 (vertical) feet of delivery as we do to the last mile of communications.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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