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Drone Wars - Google Project Wing Revealed

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28964260

Google has built and tested autonomous aerial vehicles, which it believes could be used for goods deliveries.

The project is being developed at Google X, the company's clandestine tech research arm, which is also responsible for its self-driving car.

Project Wing has been running for two years, but was a secret until now.

Google said that its long-term goal was to develop drones that could be used for disaster relief by delivering aid to isolated areas.

They could be used after earthquakes, floods, or extreme weather events, the company suggested, to take small items such as medicines or batteries to people in areas that conventional vehicles cannot reach.

"Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation," explained Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots - Google X's name for big-thinking projects.

Australia tests

Google's self-flying vehicle project was first conceived of as a way to deliver defibrillator kits to people suspected of having heart attacks. The idea was that the drones would transport the equipment faster than an ambulance could.

"When you have a tool like this you can really allow the operators of those emergency services to add an entirely new dimension to the set of tools and solutions that they can think of," said Dave Voss, incoming leader of Project Wing.

The prototype vehicles that the company has built have successfully been tested by delivering packages to remote farms in Queensland, Australia from neighbouring properties.

Australia was selected as a test site due to what Google calls "progressive" rules about the use of drones, which are more tightly controlled in other parts of the word.

Dual mode

Project Wing's aircraft have a wingspan of approximately 1.5m (4.9ft) and have four electrically-driven propellers.

The total weight, including the package to be delivered, is approximately 10kg (22lb). The aircraft itself accounts for the bulk of that at 8.5kg (18.7lb).

The small, white glossy machine has a "blended wing" design where the entire body of the aircraft provides lift.

The vehicle is known as a "tail sitter" - since it rests on the ground with its propellers pointed straight up, but then transitions into a horizontal flight pattern.

1.5kg doesn't seem like a very useful payload at present. Presumably this is still at the proof of concept stage.

Amusing that they're pretending it has been developed to deliver emergency aid in contrast to Amazon's drone for commercial purposes.

There are several of these new tech threads in off topic but it's pretty clear with the pace of development and businesses involved we're at the early phase of massive societal change. In a few years these technologies (drones, ambulant ground robots, electric vehicles, driverless cars and so on) will start to rapidly change our economies and our lives. They're on the cusp of being very much 'on-topic'.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28964260

1.5kg doesn't seem like a very useful payload at present. Presumably this is still at the proof of concept stage.

Amusing that they're pretending it has been developed to deliver emergency aid in contrast to Amazon's drone for commercial purposes.

There are several of these new tech threads in off topic but it's pretty clear with the pace of development and businesses involved we're at the early phase of massive societal change. In a few years these technologies (drones, ambulant ground robots, electric vehicles, driverless cars and so on) will start to rapidly change our economies and our lives. They're on the cusp of being very much 'on-topic'.

Absolutely on topic, given the erosions to our freedom about to culminate in a landslide of unprecedented state control over our lives.

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Will these drones be ad supported? This delivery of rice was brought to you by McDonald's?

Why not? They could even broadcast the advertiser's jingle as they fly, for H & S reasons. Then you'd hear them coming. :)

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Blade runner - and that didn't end too well - or maybe it did ....

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Blade runner - and that didn't end too well - or maybe it did ....

It all depends if he dreamt of that unicorn (he's been programmed) and if the aerial driving scene from the Shining cutting room floor is included (they get away).

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By definition, surely everything is on-topic in the off-topic forum...

;)

XYY

Too Descartian deep for me on a saturday morning. But you're probably right.

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