Flying Wings and Disaster Relief

The BBC’s Jack Stewart reported yesterday on a previously secret Google project to create a hybrid drone for delivery. This drone is interesting for several reasons- first, the wing design means it can fly horizontally far more efficiently than a helicopter design alone, since the wing generates lift and the plane-mode achieves a much faster cruising speed; second, Google describes the machine as a delivery vehicle for defibrillators and such, meaning that they have resolved to create a drone with quite a hefty payload. So this will be far more capable, in terms of delivery weight, than the standard inexpensive toy drones that are easily available today. We get to watch from the sidelines to see just how perception is handled on the drone- how it interacts with disaster victims on the ground- and how regulation deals with the influx of such machines in large quantity.

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