Amazon isn’t the only company that’s serious about delivering you stuff via the medium of drone: Google’s skunkworks X division has been working on ‘Project Wing’ for a few years now, and the research is starting to bear fruit.
— Aaref Hilaly (@aaref) October 19, 2015
In a video posted by Aaref Hilaly, a partner at VC firm Sequoia Capital, you can see Google’s drone, which looks like what happens when an RC plane and a quadrotor love each nother very much, make something that looks like a delivery.
Google’s drone works kinda like the USMC’s V-22 Osprey, but without the machine-guns: it uses rotors to takeoff vertically and hover, and then uses forward thrust and wings to achieve a more efficient flight from A to B. Once it gets where it’s going, it hovers, and uses hi-tensile fishing line to winch down a package. A package of electronics — charmingly nicknamed the ‘egg’ — detects when the package has hit the ground, and tells the drone to winch it back up again.
Google’s ultimate ambition is to create a drone delivery service, much like Amazon’s much-vaunted Prime Air delivery service. This demo seems like a good stepping stone, but there’s a big difference between controlled delivery with human operators in controlled airspace, and Google drones roaming free above cities.