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Google Halts Drone Deliveries Following Repeated Attacks By Birds
By Alexa Heah, 27 Sep 2021
Image via Wing
Wing, a drone delivery service operated by Google’s parent company Alphabet, had to halt deliveries in Canberra, Australia after its devices were repeatedly attacked by ravens.
The service had been up and running since 2019, and carried myriad items, including food, telemedicine prescriptions, or whatever else the user wanted to order.
According to The Canberra Times, Wing announced it was stopping all deliveries after numerous instances of ravens striking its drones.
Unfortunately, this pause comes at an inopportune time, as demand for drone deliveries has increased due to the country’s prolonged lockdown.
Ben Roberts, a local resident who gets his coffee via Wing every morning, filmed the latest raven attack on video and uploaded it online, as per Insider. Other birds, such as hawks and wedge-tailed eagles, were also among the culprits laying siege to the drones.
“It’s a matter of time before they bring one down. They think it’s Terminator or something,” said Roberts.
A spokesperson for Wing told ABC News Australia that territorial behavior is common during nesting season, but to ensure its drones aren’t disturbing wildlife, the company will be asking ornithological experts to investigate the matter further.
Wing also emphasized that despite the several attacks recently, it’s still a pretty rare occurrence out of the thousands of deliveries it carries out daily.
“In the unlikely event that a bird makes direct contact with our drone, we have multiple layers of redundancy built into our operations to ensure we can continue to fly safely,” the spokesperson told The Times.
Take a look at the video of a Wing drone being attacked by a raven below. Welp, guess there won’t be any coffee.
[via Insider, cover image via Wing]
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