WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A raven in Australia attacked a drone while on its way to deliver coffee.
- Wing, the operator of the drone delivery service, said deliveries will be suspended until after researchers assess the birds’ behavior.
- Deliveries by drones in part of Canberra were suspended after repeated bird attacks.
A drone delivery service in Canberra, Australia has to suspend deliveries after its devices were repeatedly attacked by ravens guarding their nests.
Wing, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, has been delivering everything from coffee, medicine, and office supplies to Canberra residents since 2019.
But on Tuesday it announced it would suspend deliveries to part of the city after several reports of ravens swooping down on its drones, The Canberra Times reported.
This comes at a time where demand for drone deliveries is surging due to Canberra’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
The latest attack was captured on video and posted online by Ben Roberts, a local resident who orders coffee every morning with the service.
“It’s a matter of time before they bring one down. They think it’s Terminator or something,” Roberts told The Canberra Times.
Magpies as well as other birds like hawks and wedge-tailed eagles have also been known to attack drones.
In a statement to customers in the local area, Wing said: “We’ve identified some birds in the area demonstrating territorial behaviors and swooping at moving objects,” according to ABC News Australia.
A Wing spokesperson said that the drone in the video completed its delivery and returned to its home facility after the attack.
The spokesperson said that Wing drones have “multiple redundancies to help ensure safe operations in the event that something like this occurs.”
Wing said it suspended delivery to a “limited number” of customers, without giving a precise figure. Its operations in the rest of Canberra were unaffected.
Ornithologist Neil Hermes told ABC News Australia that while ravens are very territorial, they have never attacked drones before.
“They will swoop dogs and activity around their nests, but attacking drones is new,” Hermes said.
Wayne Condon, the chief pilot and instructor with UAV Training Australia, told the network that drone operators should avoid known nesting locations.
“At the end of the day, it’s their sky, and we are the visitor. Fingers crossed, if you act fast enough, you’ll be able to save your aircraft and not injure the bird!” Condon told The Canberra Times.
Last month, a 5-month-old baby died in Brisbane, Australia, after the mother dropped it trying to dodge a swooping magpie.
Source: Yahoo News