19:58 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Project Wing Drones Deliver Mexican Food and Medicine in Rural Australia

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    Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has teamed up with Australian retailers Chemist Warehouse and Guzman y Gomez for a new phase of drone-based delivery trial.

    Alphabet hybrid drones, born from Alphabet's X innovation lab and dubbed Project Wing, can travel for up to 10km from their take off location at speeds of up to 120kmh using comparatively little power and carry a payload of up to 1kg.

    For the next few months they will be delivering Guzman y Gomez burritos and Chemist Warehouse medication to customers living on the outskirts of the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales who purchase items from the retailers using the Project Wing app on their smartphones. Unfortunately, the trial period is only available to a pre-selected group of testers.

    The company has carried out multiple Project Wing test flights over the past few years, but this time the deliveries are being made to a specific address or location, which is an entirely different level of operational complexity, according to Project Wing's co-lead James Ryan Burgess.

    "Our drones are able to deliver items almost anywhere — backyards, public parks, farmlands or even fire-breaks. But we need to train our systems to reliably identify safe and convenient delivery locations. This is more complicated than it looks," Burgess wrote in a blogpost.

    With each delivery, drones encounter a new yard space with its own layout of trees, sheds, fences and power lines.

    "The more test deliveries we do, exposing the sensors on our aircraft to new delivery locations, the smarter our aircraft's algorithms will one day become at picking a safe spot for deliveries," Burgess wrote.

    Project Wing and Guzman y Gomez have released a promotional video for the proposed drone delivery tests.

    Prepare yourselves for the skies filled with drones delivering goods in the nearest future.    


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