Google Has Been Working On A Top-Secret Drone Program For Package Deliveries

Google project wing droneGoogleThis is Google’s experimental package delivery drone.

Flying robots will soon deliver the products we order over the Internet. And Google wants to be the company making that happen.

Google recently showed off its two-year-old secret “Project Wing” drone delivery project to the Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal.

Here’s what a Google delivery drone looks like:

Google Drone2The AtlanticGoogle’s experimental Project Wing drone drops a package

Project Wing is part of Google X, the research team trying to solve really hard “moonshot” engineering problems. It’s the team that created Google Glass, is working on self-driving cars, using balloons to bring the Internet to far-flung corners of the globe among other crazy, cool things.

Google has been testing the drones this month in Australia, Madrigal reports, and things are going well. The company will be trying to make this a real thing.

Take a closer look:

Google project wing droneGoogleA Google Project Wing drone.

Still that’s a long way off. For now companies like Google and Amazon can’t even test pilot programs in the the U.S. because the Federal Aviation Administration has safety rules that prohibit such tests. Amazon, which is also famously working on its own drone delivery vehicles, has been lobbying for a change in the rules, but that change is a good 16 months away.

Google’s drone project was being led by Nick Roy, an MIT associate professor who took a two-year sabbatical to do this for Google. As his reign ends, he’ll be replaced by Dave Vos who sold his drone software company, Athena Technologies, to Rockwell in 2008, Madrigal reports.

Here’s a short video of the full drone flight:


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