Watch an Alphabet-owned delivery drone get attacked by a bird
The idea of drone-based deliveries has become such a mainstream concept that even Parks and Recreation managed to joke about it during its final season set in the far-flung future of 2017. While it has yet to become widely used, other companies — including Google — have tested similar technology for years. Unfortunately, these companies forgot to plan for the one threat that could potentially bring down the entire operation: birds.
Wing is an Alphabet-owned drone delivery service that operates in Finland, the United States, and Australia. It’s designed to keep packages so secure and stable, items like coffee can be delivered without worrying about a spill. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the engineers at Wing expected one of the drones to get into an air-based brawl with another sky-dwelling creature. That’s precisely what happened last week, as captured in a now-viral video (via Business Insider).
The Australian-based delivery seems to be going according to plan — that is, until our villain enters the frame. A large raven spots the drone attempting to make a landing and immediately attacks it, causing an audible whirring noise as the machine attempts to course-correct. Despite its size, the bird is no match for the drone, finally taking off after a valiant effort in dragging it through the air. As the delivery is lowered to the ground, you can see the raven fly around the air one last time — perhaps a visible reminder that, yes, nature is coming for you, technology.
The drone might’ve won this battle, but the birds have managed to win the war — for the time being, at least. It turns out this attack was only the latest in a series of escalating struggles during nesting season, which has resulted in Wing grounding its deliveries in the surrounding areas. The company plans to work with ornithological experts to research whether it’s disrupting nature to a harmful degree. Until flights resume, the ravens can take pride in their most recent victory.