Google Wing drones are now delivering supplies to tradies on worksites in Logan, Queensland.
Jesse Suskin, the business’ head of government relations, said while builders don’t often forget their power tools, they can call upon Wing’s devices to fetch things such as painter’s tape. “We have a hardware store we deliver from. As long as the product weighs what it does and fits in the box, we can deliver it.”
Suskin was speaking to the Australian Aviation’s new digital In-Focus edition, out today, as part of our follow-up feature examining the burgeoning sector. To find out more and subscribe, click here.
Wing launched commercially in Canberra and Logan in 2019 and currently allows for the delivery of packages that weigh less than 1.5 kilograms from a variety of shops that sell household and perishable goods, including coffees and sandwiches.
The business now conducts more deliveries in Australia than in any other country and has previously dubbed Logan the “drone delivery capital of the world”.
“There’s a worksite in Queensland where they’re building a series of homes,” said Suskin. “We’re not delivering to the homes, we’re delivering to the people who are building the homes.
“We’re delivering their tools and hardware when they run out of something or their food during lunch. We didn’t originally think we’d be moving hammers and screws with drones!
“We had a customer reach out who runs a landscaping business, and they constantly ran out of the Whipper Snapper line. So we stock that now.”
Wing started life in 2012 as one of the first projects at the tech giant’s super-secretive research lab, Google X, alongside its augmented reality eyeglasses and self-driving cars. It launched its first trials in 2018 before starting more commercial flights the following year in both Canberra and Logan.
Once a customer submits an order via the app, the drone flies to pick up the package at the designated delivery centre before climbing to a cruise height of 45 metres and flying to the destination.
Once there, it hovers and lowers the package to the ground, automatically unclipping the parcel without assistance from the customer.
Australian Aviation first interviewed Suskin last year for our print magazine, but since then the business has made a number of significant developments.
In October 2021, Wing drones began picking up packages from the roof of a Logan shopping mall to deliver to customers in the area.
The development was a major milestone because previously, retailers had to co-locate in the tech giant’s distribution centres rather than being able to work from their own stores.