The people involved in the testing are alpaca farmers, academics, equestrians and artists and their feedback has been helping Project Wing refine its technology.
Mexican foodchain Guzman y Gomez and pharmacy group Chemist Warehouse have joined the trial and will receive orders from the testers who buy from them using the Project Wing app on their smartphones.
The residents who live on the outskirts of the ACT are about 40 minutes from a shopping centre and as such delivering goods to their doorsteps was a sorely felt need.
"We have to incorporate customer preferences — e.g. many of our testers would like packages delivered to backyards so they’re not visible from the road, or near kitchens so food items can be unpacked quickly. And we have to be ready to accommodate changing conditions at the delivery location," Burgess wrote.
A wing delivery drone flying over Queanbeyan.
Additionally, Project Wing needed to be able to pick up packages from anyone and any location. In the case of Guzman y Gomez, there was a need to learn how much notice needed to be given for a drone arrival.
Burgess said that partnering with Chemist Warehouse would help the project learn how to handle packages of various sizes.
"We know the weeks and months ahead will be filled with unexpected challenges as we undertake these new tests. We’re grateful to the communities in the ACT and Queanbeyan regions who’ve let us into their yards, so we can learn even more about building a delivery network ready to fly in the open skies," he said.
Photos: courtesy Project Wing