- Justin Haggerty | IDRA
Google Alphabet's Wing drone delivery is increasing home drone deliveries during the COVID-19 quarantine, and so are small businesses and individual drone pilots. Need toilet paper?
As Fox13 Tampa Bay reported, a man from Florida, in St. Augustine, devised an imaginative method of sending toilet paper to a neighbor on March 27 by delivering it using a drone.
In this footage, Tom Kane can be seen attaching rolls of toilet paper to a drone before flying them across a neighborhood lagoon and dropping them into a neighbor’s garden.
Kane told Storyful, “A friend had called me and asked if I had any extra toilet paper that I might spare. They were not able to get out of the house and were concerned about social distancing in the stores.”
He added, “Most of the stores around here are still sold out of toilet paper. So, I said to him I will try to rig up something with my drone, fly it to your house and make a drop of toilet paper. The idea worked perfectly.”
Original article at Fox 13 Tampa Bay, here.
The Verge reported on Google Alphabet's Wing delivery drone operations, as it increases test operations during COVID-19.
Alphabet’s drone delivery company Wing has seen a “significant” increase in demand in recent weeks as people adhere to social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. Business Insider reports that in the last two weeks the company’s drones have made over 1,000 deliveries, while Bloomberg reports a doubling of deliveries in the US and Australia.
Wing currently offers its drone deliveries in a limited number of places worldwide. These include locations in Virginia, Finland, and Australia, where the company has partnered with local shops for deliveries. Customers use Wing’s app to make an order, and their deliveries can arrive within minutes thanks to drones that can travel at around 65 mph.
”No one could have predicted coronavirus, but even we were surprised at the uptake of customers”
Although Wing’s drones are limited by the amount of weight they’re able to carry, their deliveries can happen without people needing to travel or to interact with one another. It’s great news for communities trying to practice good social distancing during the pandemic. In contrast, it’s much more difficult for human delivery drivers to keep their distance.
Wing has expanded its delivery options in light of the pandemic by offering items like pasta and baby food due to the demands of people staying at home, Bloomberg reports, while in Australia it’s added another grocery store to fulfill requests for milk and bread.
”No one could have predicted coronavirus, but even we were surprised at the uptake of customers when ‘shelter in place’ came into Virginia,” Wing’s head of marketing and communications, Alexa Dennett, told Business Insider, “It’s really early days so it’s hard to know how coronavirus will shape our business’s strategy... Ultimately we would love many more households around the US and the world to have access to our technology.” Dennett declined to comment further on the company’s expansion plans.
Wing is currently the only service offering drone deliveries to the general public in North America, although Amazon is also working to launch its own Prime Air service.
Original article at The Verge, here.
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