Google's ambitions go beyond the Internet. If we were to asses Google based on its decision to aquire Boston Dynamics last year and, most recently, Titan Aerospace, we can safely speculate that the Mountain View-based technology giant is expanding into the world of drones and robots.
Google gave The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal full access to its top secret drone delivery program, and the lengthy story has been published on the media company's website today. Google's Project Wing, as it is called, has been brewing for two years at Google's secretive Google X labs.
Google tapped MIT roboticist, Nick Roy, to work on a reliable delivery drone. Google tested the drones earlier this month in Australia and successfully delivered goods to a few farmers in a nearby ranch. Unlike Amazon's drone prototype, Google is using a tail sitter drone that has two wings, four rotors on the body, and a tail that serves as its stand.
The drone combines the design elements of a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter. This makes it able to hover and fly at the same time. Engineers borrowed their design from the iconic tail-sitter configuration from Lockheed.
In delivering the packages, Roy and his team tried tiny parachutes which were hard to control because of the wind. They ended up using an ingenious haul made from hi-grade fishing line to drop the goods. The drone would haul the package down and a gadget called "egg" will detect if it has reached the ground. It will then prompt the drone to release the package and the "egg" will be lifted up again back to the drone. Pretty cool, right?
In case, the drone can cut the line with a razor blade. Google says that the project is still in its early stages of development. You can read the rest of the story here.