Residents of Canberra, Australia can get up in the morning, order a cup of coffee and relax in a chair while a drone delivers to their front yard. This was Ben Roberts’ routine until the raven became “territorial” and attacked the delivery drone, ABC reported. While Roberts waited for his coffee to arrive, he even managed to make a video of the attack.
The drone at the receiving end is operated by Wing, a drone delivery service that operates in Australia, Finland and the United States, according to their website. Using autonomous drones, Wing promises supplies of medicine, food, coffee, office and even hardware so you don’t have to go out of the comfort of your own home. Residents of Canberra, who have been in quarantine since August 12 to limit the spread of COVID-19, have found rest in these services.
Once an order is placed, the delivery system autonomously creates a flight path after taking into account air traffic and weather conditions, the company said in its YouTube channel. The strangely shaped drone lowers the cord where the consignment to be delivered is secured and then pulled closely during flight. Once the drone reaches the delivery area, the package is lowered and slightly left in a clean area.
During such a routine trip, however, a “territorial” raven attacked the drone. ABC reports that crows attack objects that detect a threat during their nesting season, which usually extends from July to September. The raven probably mistaken the drone for a larger bird and is therefore a threat, although this is the first time a bird attack on a drone has been reported.
To protect the natural inhabitants of the sky, Wing, an offshoot of Alphabet’s Project X, is currently suspending supplies in the area. She seeks the advice of ornithologists to protect the birds. Although this is a noble act, ABC also reported that many residents have opposed the supply of drones from the beginning. Wing had to review the impact of his services on wildlife, but simply submitted studies conducted abroad to get permission from the local government.
With the service discontinued in the area, the raven apparently won this round. But next time there may be no such luck. In our quest to provide comfort and convenience, are we heading for an environmental disaster?