Delivering of packages with drones has become a quite discussed topic mainly for Amazon´s well-known plans. However, also another worldwide corporation, Google, recently stepped into this bussiness. Google X, a division of the US-based technology company dedicated to making major technological advancements, started Project Wing and tested their first UAV prototype this month in Australia. The first delivering trial, including customers from public, was successfuly performed at a Queensland farm on the Darling Downs. According to Google X director Astro Teller the Project Wing´s aims to create an uniqe system for fast and easy delivering small and medium sized packages to anyone with UAS. They are examinig the whole spectrum of imaginable situations where can be aerial delivering useful or even crucial matter. For example, the researchers are considering to deploy these drone delivering system in case of emergency response after a flood, or an earthquake. Bringing medicine or other supplies to people who are in need can be estimable in such situations when the conventional infrastructure is inoperative.
The particular prototype of delivery drones used in Queensland is a “tailsitter”, the Unamanned Aerial Vehicle which is able of vertical take-offs and landings and high speed during the flight – up to 90km/h. Although the take-off is performed verticaly, Project Wing is then flying horizontally as a “flying wing” drone type. The researchers from Google X have it also reportedly equipped with sophisticated sensors which allow to perform an autonomous flight. That probably means their interests are currently more and more focused into the area of hi-tech robotics and visionary technology, especially when we consider Google buying the renowned Boston Dynamics company. Nevertheless, their goal is not just to create self-flying delivering vehicles, but also to make an autonomous flight safe and reliable. Any obstacles in the air, such as power lines, flocking birds or another vehicles, should be ultimately detected by the drone´s sensors and the necessary flight adjustments made.
Although it will probably takes years to make Google´s plans to came true, their first testing round work out pretty good. The world first person to receive a package delivery from a Google X UAV was farmer Neil Parfitt, who reportedly really appreciated the whole service. The cargo was released to the ground on a cable and the operators was able to maintain perfect control of it. Because the weather while this testing went pretty well, with mildly blowing wind, so the drone remained stable and without vibrations during the whole operation. Next trials are going on in these days, including many important questions about UAV delivering and autonomous flight which have to be answered. The test flights are conducted using Brisbane-based Unmanned Systems Australia’s operating certificate, with the company’s director Phil Swinsburg in charge. He also managed a large area between the Warwick and Killarnes to be a testing location for the future delivery aerial robots. I´m personally really curious if and when will Google deploy their promising drone fleet in daily life how will the public accept this.