Wing, the unmanned aircraft arm of Alphabet, has revealed that it is developing new on-demand delivery options including heavy lift drones that will be able to deliver significant heavy goods to private residents or public facilities.
Currently, Wing’s Hummingbird drone — which has flown more than 200,000 commercial deliveries globally — typically carries small amounts of goods such as healthcare items or roasted chickens or coffee.
To carry heavier goods, heavy-lift drones would require a bigger battery and bigger motor. Wing said it developed a core set of hardware and software components that can be used to create a variety of different aircraft that would be tailored for specific use cases. Wing calls this its aircraft library where the core components of the Hummingbird drone would get additions such as common avionics, propulsion system elements and materials.
Wing said this would allow the company to rapidly evolve aircraft configurations from the Hummingbird base design to a broad range of aircraft that could be configured to use for delivery of food, medicine, supply chain optimization and emergency response.
The company said it could see tiny drones being used for pharmacy delivery, larger planes for shipping fulfillment and longer-range drones for logistic flights. There could also be dedicated hovering platforms for delivery in cities from a central portable hub.