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- The future. It's coming for you.
A zipping comes across the sky.
A man named Neil Parfitt is standing in a field on a cattle ranch outside Warwick, Australia. A white vehicle appears above the trees, a tiny plane a bit bigger than a seagull. It glides towards Parfitt, pitches upwards to a vertical position, and hovers near him, a couple hundred feet in the air. From its belly, a package comes tumbling downward, connected by a thin line to the vehicle itself. Right before the delivery hits the ground, it slows, hitting the earth with a tap. The delivery slows, almost imperceptibly, just before it hits the ground, hardly kicking up any dust. A small rectangular module on the end of the line detaches the payload, and ascends back up the vehicle, locking into place beneath the nose. As the wing returns to flying posture and zips back to its launch point half a mile away, Parfitt walks over to the package, opens it up, and extracts some treats for his dogs.
The Australian test flight and 30 others like it conducted in mid-August are the culmination of the first phase of Project Wing, a secret drone program that’s been running for two years at Google X, the company’s whoa-inducing, long-range research lab.
Google calls their drones "self-flying vehicles." The door to the workshop where they've been working on the project is called "The Hatchery." Read the whole six-page-long article here, if you like. It's peppered with sentences from a futuristic movie script, like: "Standing with Parfitt as he received dog treats from a flying robot was Nick Roy, the MIT roboticist who took a two-year sabbatical to lead Project Wing." And sentences full of gushing love for the magical dudes who conceive of such technological wonderment: "If there is one thing Google likes, it is changing the world."
Good morning, world. I hope your plans for the future included a million packages of toothpaste and novels and granola bars and condoms flying past your face on their way to instantaneously please and satisfy the people around you.