While the web rustled rumors around the launch of the delivery service of drones from Amazon in India, Google created the surprise by revealing a clear rival project: Project Wing. This is the biggest secret that Californian develop 2 years its own delivery service of drones. If it will take a few years research lead to a truly autonomous and efficient system, Google was already constituted a small fleet of drones that it tests with farmers in Queensland, Australia. An announcement at the time where Google, like Amazon, defend the record of the civilian drone with the FAA, the U.S. Aviation Agency.
Thundering announcements to move the FAA
For now Google and Amazon interests converge. Both must convince the FAA to provide as soon as possible of regulations on the commercial exploitation of the drones on the American territory. One like the other presented their arguments during the hearings of the Agency. In parallel, they are mounting pressure on the FAA in arousing the enthusiasm of the public for drones, ringuardisant the still cautious position of the United States.
Google has decided to unveil a part of its strategy, revealing to the public Project Wing. It is Nick Roy, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astrophysics from MIT hired to join Google X and work on this project of unmanned aerial vehicles for delivery in 2012. We remember that it is at this time that the researcher had unveiled the results of his research in algorithms of guidance of drones. PUT it had published an impressive video showing a drone fly in an underground car park, slaloming between the pillars and the cars at an impressive speed and without having a GPS guidance. A demonstration that probably typed in the eye of Asto Teller, the boss of Google X laboratories.
A researcher from MIT at the head of the Project Wing
It is interesting to note that Nick Roy chose a quite different formula from that of Amazon. The latter, for its Amazon Prime Air opted for the hexacoptere, a light helicopter with 8 engines formula. For Project Wing, Nick Roy uses flying wings powered by 4 electric motors, a formula which allows in theory a wider action RADIUS. Nick Roy reached a automate the phase toggle between vertical flight take-off and delivery and the horizontal flight at full speed. If the Google drone is probably faster and must have a radius of action probably longer than his rival, Nick Roy has of developing a delivery system more complex than the Amazon Prime Air. Indeed, the drone unleashes package stored in a bunker at the end of a cable, at a height of about 20 / 30 m. Package descends at the end of the cable, and then detaches once on the ground. In terms of support useful, hard to decide between the 2 drones from the only videos. The packages seem to be pretty close in size, in any case be less than that of a box shoe.
The ball is now in the camp of the FAA that, for now, prevents all actors, whether it’s Amazon, Google, DHL or Domino’s Pizza to deploy their services delivery in the United States.
“Google Is Testing Delivery Drone System”, the Wall Street Journal, August 29, 2014
“Column: Send in the Drones, but After the Lobbyists”, Valley News, August 28, 2014
“Introducing Project Wing”, YouTube, August 28, 2014
“Autonomous robotic plane flies indoors”, MIT News Office, August 10, 2012