After Amazon teased us with potential aerial deliveries, the skies remained free of pizza winging its way to hungry mouths. But now Google's Project Wing has been outed - a secretive test by the Google X team into the feasibility of drone deliveries. Suddenly the future of package delivery is looking a whole lot brighter.
A century ago, as cars first emerged into the world, cities and laws that were designed for horses suddenly had to adapt to a whole new presence in their space. Cities didn’t know how to handle these fast machines, and fatal accidents in the early age of cars led to legal battles between pedestrians and cars over who had the right to the road. Now, commercial drones are approaching their Model-T moment, and planners can get ahead of this by plotting out their cities in color-coded three-dimensional blocks of sky.
How does one charge 1,000 robots? It would be a pain to plug them all in individually. Luckily, there's an easier way with Kilobots. These little robots have round bodies about the diameter of a quarter, with a metal spring on top and three thin metal legs. To charge them, you push them -- 10 at a time -- against a long charging rack. They all charge at once, as long as each has its spring top and two of its legs touching the rack. "It's kind of like a bumper car charging system," says Mike Rubenstein, who uses a long stick to corral his Kilobots.
According to the US National Park Service, a tourist crashed a camera-equipped drone into Grand Prismatic Spring, the park's largest geothermal hot spring. In May, the National Park Service banned drones from Yosemite National Park, and in June that ban expanded to include all national parks. The Prismatic Spring crash is not the first drone crash on a national park, and it's unlikely to be the last.