Continuing the recent back and forth with Amazon, Google’s X-Lab – the “secret” internal Moonshot department – have just unveiled their answer to Amazon Prime Air in the form of Project Wing.
In development for the last two years, Google X have recently tested their drones in Austraila. In the video below, you can see the difference in style between Amazon’s quadricopter and Google’s more airplane-shaped drone.
According to Wired, this will be the last that Google says about Project Wing for the foreseeable future:
The company said it would not agree to additional interviews about the project. “The vehicle you see in our video is more a research vehicle than an indication of a final decision or direction—as we figure out exactly what our service will deliver and where and why, we will look at a variety of vehicle options (both home-made and off-the-shelf),” the spokesperson said.
A white paper released by the company says that the Google X team first discussed the idea of building flying vehicles in 2011, and that in July 2012, Nick Roy, of the MIT Aeronautics & Astronautics program, joined the company to explore the possibilities. Originally, the paper says, the aim was to use drones to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims.
Leave it to Google to let the cat out of the bag just a little and then clam up just when everybody wants to know more. It’s interesting to see that the initial aim for Project Wing was more medical than retail. If anything, that’s certainly a good starting point for their research, and use-cases can present themselves through testing. In the above video, I find it interesting that the drone drops the payload from as high as it does. That delivery method seems to present problems, such as wind, trees, etc. but the people at Google X have probably taken those things into consideration.
Now that Google and Amazon have both announced their drone ambitions, what will the tech giants’ next overlap be? Could Amazon try to roll out an advertising network? Might Google push farther into the retail market? Only time will tell.
What do you think about Project Wing? Let us know in the comments below, or on your favorite social network.Source: Wired