[Canberrauav] Project Wing

Jack Pittar jpittar at bigpond.net.au
Sun Feb 25 18:06:27 AEDT 2018

On Saturday I visited the Project Wing presentation and lavish free BBQ at
Pine Island for the inhabitants of Bonython, where they are going to start
drone deliveries of Burritos and pharmaceuticals.

Look at the following sites to see what it is all about so I only have to
present my points of interest.



https://www.x.company/intl/en_au/wing/utm-platform/         Unmanned Traffic

The ultimate parent company is Google.

The aircraft is all foam with carbon fibre spars.

The motors are standard T-motors.

The range is 10km, but they are sticking to 6km for now.

They used ardupilot in the first few years of development, but have their
own system now.

For the first year CASA required them to have spotters on the hills so they
weren't going beyond line of site, but now they do not need the spotters and
one operator can control a number of drones.

At their base the drones land automatically on a pad which has a matrix of
conducting strips to charge the batteries.

For a delivery, the drone takes off automatically and lowers its hook to
receive the cargo, then flies off on its programmed route.

The hook is just a hook - it just slips out of the eye when the cargo
touches the ground.

The drone uses optical flow to hold position. There is no back to base

When beyond line of site, it communicates with base over 4G.

They have developed, and are still working on, their Unmanned Traffic
Management system (UTM).

This system uses Google data to select a flight path clear of obstacles and
mandated no-go zones, to share live traffic information to and from Flight
Services, and to find suitable flat spots for dropping points.

When a customer orders a service via a special app on their mobile phone,
the UTM automatically dispays a number of possible drop off points for the
customer to select. 

When fully developed, Google plan to make this UTM available to all.


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