Drone delivery could be a reality within months — if government gets out of the way

Earlier this week I attended Zeitgeist, a…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.businessinsider.com

The good news is that the general flight technology for automated aerial logistics is months — not years — away from being ready.  Looking more closely at the model of Google’s drone (above), we see that Project Wing is a big quadcopter with fixed wings to improve its lift-to-drag radio. Most likely, it has a lithium ion battery for forward flight and a lithium polymer battery (10x the power) for hovering. The guidance and navigation system for these kinds of hybrids are significantly more challenging, as the Marines’  experience with the V-22 Osprey demonstrates. But object avoidance is a much easier problem to solve for a drone than for an autonomous car, as over 30 feet they are unlikely to hit anything other than the occasional skydiver or hot-air balloon.  All the components of the technology exist today; they just need to be integrated and tested to deal with a drone’s biggest enemy — weather. There are powerful airflows over ridges, and rain and snow to deal with. Closer to the ground, weather is more variable and it will take some testing to ensure drones are rugged enough to deal with whatever the elements will throw at them.  While drone technology is evolving quickly, the regulatory framework for drones in the US appears to have stalled, or perhaps even be moving backwards. Under current FAA rules, it’s possible that even Google’s simple demonstration was illegal. Any commercial operation of drones is not allowed unless you get a Section 33 exemption which gives you the right to operate on private land which you own, or at one of 6 approved testing sites in the middle of nowhere. This week, the FAA announced that drone hobbyists must register their drones or face unspecified penalties.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus

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