Google has unveiled a new programme to build autonomous delivery drones that are capable of carrying items into remote areas.
Google's Project Wing
The company said that its Project Wing craft will provide unmanned craft which could bring light deliveries to people in areas where automobile or large-scale airmail deliveries are impractical or not possible.
Google has formally introduced the project with a short video demonstrating and explaining the small wing-shaped craft which would be responsible for the deliveries.
"Throughout history there have been a series of innovations that have each taken a huge chunk out of the friction of moving things around," said Astro Teller, "captain of moonshots" for GoogleX.
"Project wing aspires to take another big chunk out of the friction of moving things around in the world."
The company has been testing working on the project for more than two years and says it is currently testing a small fleet of craft in Australia. The debut video includes demonstration of a small craft flying from one farm to another and lowering a small package for delivery.
Google engineers acknowledged that the project is a long way from actually being ready for any sort of commercial or government deployment.
"It's years from a product," said Google Project Wing founder Nicholas Roy. "But it is sort of the first prototype we can stand upon."
The hurdles Google will have to clear will go far beyond engineering. Rival Amazon floated its own cloud delivery service earlier this year and the drone delivery scheme project was quickly.. err.. shot down in the US by the FAA. If Wing is to have any hope of making it stateside, those regulatory issues will need to be settled. ®