Renewables photo

It takes a lot of electricity to be Google, so it makes sense that the internet giant is investing in renewable power sources. One of these ventures is a creative fusion of windmills and flying robots: gigantic, tethered kites that spin turbines using wind power. The project has been in the works for years. This week, they were granted a new patent for safer kite landing.

Previously, their robo-kites landed in their perch sideways, like this:

The new modification is modest; as highlighted by Leon Doitscher at Declassifiled, it’s a perch that uses curved racks to slide the kite drone into place. This is less a complete new innovation than a fine-tuning of a working machine.

Here’s another look at the turbine kite robot in flight: