The drone delivery program from Google was part of the company’s drone-delivery system Project Wing, under the Google Project X research lab. The idea was for the delivery drones to be able to take-off vertically and then land vertically. This is the key feature that would be useful in busy residential and commercial areas. Unfortunately, it looks like Google has not quite got it right yet, even after extensive testing. The prototype for the drone had used a single-winged design that spanned five feet.
It looks as though it was too much of an engineering feat to accomplish as Google announced at SXSW that the firm has actually scrapped the design totally. This has opened up opportunity for new designs and engineering innovations to come to the fore.
It couldn’t have been easy for Google’s engineers to combine the vertical take-off and landing system of a rocket with a wing-based flight system.
It has now come to light that the design was actually riddled with flaws. The drone was not able to handle high wind environments and whenever the drone changed altitude it’s precious cargo would shift drastically thereby making the drone’s flight path hard to control.
Project Wing was created back in 2011 as a drone-delivery program, which looked like it had unlimited applications. The test flights of the drones attempted to carry vaccines, water, and radios to farmers in the Australian outback.
Head of research at Google Project X Astro Teller, explained that half of the drone development team had come to the realisation that the design was a failure eight months into its development. After another 10 months, 80% of the team was convinced the design was flawed.
It looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the project and you’ll have to wait for drone-delivered goods. There are currently no details about the new design, but Google have clearly moved away from the single-winged drone design.
[Image via thetimes]
SOURCE: Slash Gear