& cplSiteName &

Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go

Dan Jones
8/29/2014
100%
0%

Google has developed prototypes of self-flying delivery drones in a long-term project to deliver goods to consumers faster.

Project Wing -- out of the Google[x] skunkworks -- was revealed by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in a video released Thursday evening. The project has been underway for two years and the company now has working prototypes.

"It's years from a product but it is ... the first prototype that we want to stand behind," says Project Wing founder, Nicholas Roy, during a video introducing the project.

Nonetheless, the video below shows a small drone taking off and delivering a product by winching it down to a surprised-looking homesteader somewhere in Australia.

The craft used will be familiar to anyone who enjoyed a misspent youth with their nose deep in science fiction. The Project Wing craft is a vertical take-off aircraft that sits on its tail when on the ground and then straightens up into a horizontal flying position when airborne, unlike hobbyist drones, which mostly resemble tiny helicopters.

"Project Wing aspires to take another big chunk out of the friction of moving things around in the world," says Astro Teller, captain of moonshots at Google [x] (really!), on the video.

Google has some runway left before commercial drones are even officially allowed to fly in the US. The Federal Aviation authority has been tasked by Congress to come up with a plan by September 15, 2015, for safe integration of commercial drones into US air space. This doesn't mean that the skies over Utah will be lousy with tiny unmanned aircraft on September 16 next year. The FAA has stressed that integration of unmanned aircraft will be taken in stages. The agency expects to publish its first ruling on small drones -- including commercial aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds -- sometime this year. (For more, see Here Come the WiFi Drones.)


For in-depth coverage of the IoT, smart grid innovation, and utility communications topics, visit Light Reading's dedicated content channels for the Internet of Things (IoT) and utilities communications sectors.


Google isn't the only Internet giant interested in delivery drones either. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) revealed it was working on its own "Octocopter" delivery drone last year. (See Amazon Wants Delivery Drones.)

There are many issues to be addressed before delivery drones take to the air. Chief among them is reliable collision detection while the craft is in the air, and how to actually deliver packages safely to the ground.

Nonetheless, with big money from Amazon, Facebook and Google now backing drones, it may be less a question of whether pigs might fly but rather when unmanned bacon will take to the skies. (See Facebook Buys British Drone Specialist.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(27)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/5/2014 | 7:48:33 AM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
Natural forces and firearms will be gating factors for drones. I'm sure everyone will look forward to incessant buzzing and whirring at 2 am.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
9/5/2014 | 4:40:21 AM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
Mike, 

"A sense of responsiblity is also upon us as well. However, we have to somehow figure out a way to make sure all those whose stated aim is to make our lives better, to do so responsibly."

Indeed. Responsibility should be the fist thing to take into account in both designing and accepting the design of technologies/devices/AIs/etc.

It's easy to take a step back and put all the responsibility on the shoulders of Google, Amazon, and the others. They can create wonderful things with the best of the intentions, but it's always in the users where the final decision on what end the wonderful creation will have. And we both know there are all sorts of minds out there, don't we?    

"I am fearful of what Stephen Hawkin reminded us as Artifical Intellligence gathers steam. As an old fan of the new Battlestart Gallatica, I wonder about that..and for those who don't remember, this is the summary: "..When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurfaces and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth....""

AI is one of my favorite topics. There shouldn't be anything to fear of if AI would be used responsibly, something I regret to say I doubt it will happen simply because responsibility is not one of the humans' main strengths, generally speaking.

I believe you may like this United Nations and Battlestar Gallactica combination. It's worth the two hours you have to invest in watching it. :)  

 

-Susan
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 11:41:48 PM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
Drones are inevitable, although I do think natural forces will limit their use. Technology can probably help mitigate that issue by using data to devise optimum times to fly.

Still, do we all want to see swarms of drones in the sky everyday?
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 7:56:00 PM
Max load capacity?
Delivery drones are cool, but it makes me wonder what the average (or mode) weight of a USPS package is.. and how that compares to the max load capacity of a drone like this. I assume range is also an issue, so... how many launchpads would Amazon or Google need to really be able to cover a significant population?

And maybe... someday.. Netflix will regret ditching its DVD delivery service. :P
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 8:19:45 AM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
Total acceptance and capitulation is one way to go. It certainly has worked for authoritarian regimes. "OK, so we've been dehumanized to some extent, but look! Pizza from the sky! Life is good!! I can't wait to share this with my Facebook friends!!!"
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 4:24:04 AM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
I absolutely concur that we have to keep smiling and never allow the World to change our smile.     A sense of responsiblity is also upon us as well.   However, we have to somehow figure out a way to make sure all those whose stated aim is to make our lives better, to do so responsibly.   Although Drones can have some fabulous opportunities (and they have been proven both in War, Peace and here and now), I am fearful of what Stephen Hawkin reminded us as Artifical Intellligence gathers steam.     As an old fan of the new Battlestart Gallatica, I wonder about that..and for those who don't remember, this is the summary: "..When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurfaces and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth...."  
Susan Fourtané
100%
0%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
9/4/2014 | 3:51:46 AM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
Thanks, Mike. Happy September to you, too. :)

Oh, the issue of privacy seems to be a neverending story. Privacy is an illusion already. I agree with you, the CCTV systems are almost everywhere, including the treetops in some places. So, what's the difference with a drone? Mobility? I insist on focusing in the potential of positive drone delivery. 

"When you're on the internet, you're being tracked. When you make a phone call,  you'r tracked. Therefore, we have to accept that privacy is a fiction."

Exactly. So, it's better to just keep smiling, and wear your best hat and sunglasses. :D

-Susan

 
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 5:59:58 PM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
Or hire an angry ram to take them down for you:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/wild-ram-headbutts-drone-out-the-sky-waits-for-pilot-to-turn-up-then-headbutts-him-too-9708321.html
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 4:44:45 PM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
It depends on the Hawaiian you have in mind.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 4:11:13 PM
Re: Not only for pizza, but pizza is a start
You sure you want to risk bringing down an extra-large Hawaiian on your head?
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei 2016 UBBS World Tour: Singapore

6|21|16   |   02:39   |   (0) comments


Highlights from Huawei's UBBS World Tour event in Singapore.
LRTV Custom TV
The FlowBROKER Solution

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


During a demo at the Big Communications Event 2016, Accedian director of product line solutions Greg Spear demonstrates how the FlowBROKER distributed packet capture solution (part of Accedian's SkyLIGHT platform) can be used to troubleshoot and resolve QoE issues.

FlowBROKER is the industry's first lossless remote packet capture solution, which uses ...

LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: Dell & the New World Order

6|21|16   |   22:48   |   (0) comments


Dell's Jim Ganthier on how the very essence of enterprise is being affected by digital disruption – and how the cloud can help companies find a path forward.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: The CSP of the Future

6|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Traditional telecom operators have been adopting new ways of doing business from the IT sector and emulating web-scale companies in their technology adoption. Are these strategies succeeding? A panel of experts at BCE considered the evidence...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/20/2016
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Twitter Buys Magic Pony... Not That Kind
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/20/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.