Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
EE Times-India > Controls/MCUs

Google rolls out drone-based delivery project

Posted: 01 Sep 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:drone  Project Wing  POMDP 

Google described details of Project Wing, its drone-based delivery project, amidst debate about if legislation would ever allow commercial drones to fly over our heads.

Only a few months ago, web competitor Amazon had showcased octocopters for its futuristic Amazon Prime Air delivery service with vertical take-off and landing for parcel delivery. Now, Google's way of implementing a drone-based delivery service would rely on a winged drone.

Delivery drone

Under secret development for the last two years at the Google X research lab, the GPS-guided drone can follow programmed routes at altitudes varying from 50 to a hundred metres, very much like the gliding drones from Parrot's sister company, senseFly Ltd.

It has a wingspan of about 1.5m for a height of 0.8m, with four pivoting propellers that allow the drone to pitch upwards to the vertical to hover when it has reached the delivery address. Then, rather than landing, the drone opens its belly and winches the parcel down, via a sensor-laden tether that will decelerate the parcel before touchdown and release it as it reaches the ground.

This delivery method was preferred over landing as previous experiments showed that people receiving the parcel couldn't refrain from grabbing the parcel or/and the drone, at the risk of getting injured or damaging the drone.

In the first public video of the Project Wing, MIT roboticist Nick Roy who took a two-year sabbatical to lead Project Wing admits that the company is still years from a final product, but this is the first prototype that Google wants to stand by.

This is probably not only because of logistical issues such as finding collision-free routes, the right energy optimisation and ensuing drone reliability, but also because currently no sky regulation in the world would allow flying such drones over populated areas.

1 • 2 Next Page Last Page

Comment on "Google rolls out drone-based deliver..."
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top