Google is taking to the skies with aerial drones to optimize the delivery of its goods around the world.
Although still in the test phase, Project Wing — the result of two years of hard work at Google X, the company’s research lab — has already made some deliveries.
Tests performed in Queensland, Australia, saw shipments of candy bars, dog treats, cattle vaccines, water and radios carried by the drones safely to their destination. The devices are pre-programmed to fly a particular route simply by pushing a button. Despite the success of early tests, Google told the BBC it would be a few more years before the system is implemented.
Google’s drone project is not just about business, however. The company envisions the devices being used for disaster relief. An early test in 2012 brought defibrillators to heart attack victims, for instance.
“Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation,” Google X chief Astro Teller told the BBC.
The 19-pound drones’ wings span roughly five feet and are outfitted with four electrically-driven propellers, according to the report.
That Google is working on a fleet of delivery drones comes as little surprise. Google X, which works on “moon shot” projects such as self-driving vehicles and Glass, Google’s computerized spectacles, is staffed by top-notch researchers with the seemingly unlimited resources of Google at its disposal.
That eCommerce powerhouse Amazon and social media king Facebook are also looking to use drones for various projects, will, no doubt, only push Google harder to be the first technology company to make drone deliveries a reality.