Skip to main content

Watch Google’s Wing drones make deliveries to folks in Virginia

Celebrating one year of drone delivery in Christiansburg

The drone delivery service operated by Google-owned Wing has been dropping off ordered items to residents of Christiansburg in Virginia for the past 12 months.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of one of the few residential drone delivery services currently operating in the U.S., Wing has posted a video featuring some of the folks that have made use of the service. It also includes lots of footage showing the flying machine in action as it lowers items into people’s yards using a tether.

Related Videos

Wing received regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its trial drone delivery service in 2019 and wasted little in time in launching its copters into the sky. Crucially, the permission allowed Wing to fly its machines out of the line of sight of the operator, as well as over civilians, giving it greater freedom over where it could deploy the drones.

The company teamed up with various local businesses to deliver items such as medicines, library books, hot meals, and other essentials to folks living in the town, which has a population of just over 20,000.

Many of the residents in the video talk about how they saw the service as a kind of novelty when it first launched, but then, when the pandemic struck, considered it a more important means of assistance.

“Every now and again you’ll be out somewhere and you’ll see the drone fly by,” one resident said, adding, “I don’t think it’s as intimidating as people think it’s going to be. It’s very much been incorporated into the town versus taking over the town.”

Coming from Wing itself, the video is celebratory and therefore includes no complaints from residents who might not be so keen on the service. The noise of the drones, for example, has upset folks in other Wing trials, though the team is working constantly to reduce the level of noise created by the machines. Varying the flight paths also helps to ensure noise pollution is kept to a minimum.

In fact, the town’s mayor, Mike Barber, insists (in the video) that he’s had “nothing but positive comments” about the drone delivery service.

Wing said it’s recently received permission to extend its service area — we’ve reached out to the company for more details and will update this article when we hear back.

A slew of other companies, Amazon among them, are testing similar kinds of drone delivery services while at the same time seeking permission from the FAA to launch operations with fewer and fewer restrictions.

Editors' Recommendations

Google’s Pixel Notepad may be the long-rumored Pixel Fold
Google Pixel Fold concept image.

Google’s mysterious foldable phone, long expected to be called the Pixel Fold, could be tagged with a new, uninspired name. According to a 9to5Google report, the rumored device may actually carry the far more boring moniker of Pixel Notepad, and it might actually be cheaper than what Samsung’s Fold 3 will drain from your wallet. Yes, it's accurate for a foldable phone-tablet hybrid that essentially doubles as a digital notebook, but pondering over a creative name doesn’t hurt.

Google was reportedly considering the name “Logbook” at one point, and simply put, that’s also bland and seems straight out of an '80s commercial for a leather-bound diary targeted at Wall Street investors in pinstriped suits. The alleged Google foldable has lately popped up in the code of Android updates under the code name "Pipit." System animations discovered in the code of Android 12L beta revealed the design assets of a rather stout foldable phone that resembles the Oppo Find N.

Read more
Google Chrome has a secret feature to make it match Windows 11’s new design
Google Chrome opened on a laptop.

One of the signature features of Windows 11 is the new rounded corners and glass-like mica effects. Usually only found in Microsoft and select third-party Windows apps, these design elements are now making their way into Google Chrome but are still hidden secret behind a flag in Chrome's settings.

Once the secret flag is enabled, Chrome on Windows 11 fits in better with the rest of the new operating system. Right-click menus in Chrome change from squared off to more rounded, and also pick up the modern mica effect. In addition, Chrome's pop-out settings menu changes to a more rounded shape, fitting better with native Windows elements like the Start Menu and Quick Actions pop-out.

Read more
Drone-delivery specialist Wing lifts the lid on its secret testing facility
The drone used by Wing's delivery service.

Drone-delivery specialist Wing has lifted the lid on its secret testing facility in Australia.

A video (below) shared by the Alphabet-owned company shows how its team is continuing to develop its drone technology while at the same time running trial services delivering snacks and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals to residents in places such as Logan City near Brisbane.

Read more