Automated drone delivery service to start second trial in rural NSW
Published: 29 September 2017
Last year, an innovative Aussie went viral for putting $10 in a drone and flying it to the local Bunnings to pick up a snag… all while he was lounging about in his hot tub.
He was fined $9,000 for the stunt, which broke a number of drone regulations… but it appears he was onto something.
Drone delivery is the idea behind Project Wing – an initiative testing drone delivery systems in rural NSW in collaboration with the ACT’s Rural Fire Service.
Originally trialled at Fernleigh Park in Googong near the ACT border, it’s now moving to Royalla to deliver food, drinks and other items to hundreds of households.
Participating households will be able to use a smartphone app to request items to be delivered to their yard within five minutes.
Taking off from the launch site at Guises Creek Rural Fire Station in Royalla, the 4.5 kgs drones zip along up to 120 kilometres per hour to their pre-programmed delivery site.
The Project – run by Google sister company ‘X’ – hopes the drones could also be used in firefighting and other emergency services.
ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said the drones could supply frontline firies with rations, medical supplies, or mechanical parts.
“It’s a service that will be available in a rural area that’s not there at the moment,” he said.
“We’re really excited that this technology would be able to be used for our emergency front line people.”
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority praised the utility the drones would provide to fire services.
“In emergency services drones are already playing a role… they can be used to spot bushfires and see where they’ve spread to,” spokesman Peter Gibson said.
“There will be a lot of other applications as drone technology continues to grow and develop.”
Minister Gentleman said he would take the community’s attitude to the technology into account.
“[The tests] will allow us to understand community attributes to this new technology, and will let us consider the best way to accommodate drone delivery in our city for our future,” he said.