Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Farmer in World-First Test

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Farmer in World-First Test

Article excerpt

Candyce Braithwaite


LOCH Lomond farmer Neil Parfitt has become the first person in the world to receive a delivery from a Google Drone.

The drone is one of the most technologically advanced Google projects that could see autonomous drones deliver anything from day-to-day items to life-saving medicines.

The very first delivery to Mr Parfitt simply carried dog food, a Cherry Ripe and a Crunchie bar but the star-struck local said he could see endless possibilities.

It all began when Brisbane-based Unmanned Systems Australia's company director Phil Swinsburg phoned a friend and asked to trial the drone on his property on behalf of Google.

It just so happened that friend was Mr Parfitt's next door neighbour.

"It was a huge operation," Mr Parfitt said.

"There was about 30 people from technicians to film crews and they were trying to simulate different scenarios.

"I couldn't believe it when someone said 'hey, you're the first person to ever receive a delivery from one of these things'."

Mr Parfitt said the drone wasn't overly large with a wing span of around a metre.

"It's battery operated and it hardly made any sound," he said.

"It was amazing how it just hovered and dropped off the parcel."

Mr Parfitt said he could see endless possibilities for the drone, including use in medical emergencies.

"If someone was stranded in bushland the drone could drop off a parcel of medicines or food," he said.

"The drone could also travel faster than a car so if there was a medical emergency it could be really handy.

"It's just amazing something like this has been tested in our own backyard."

Mr Parfitt, who has a background as an electronics technician, said he was able to look at Google's set up.

"It would be worth thousands of dollars," he said. …

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