When you get a cookie craving do you go to the store? Poor you. If you lived in a Christiansburg, Virginia, a community that tests commercial delivery drones, you could get Girl Scout cookies delivered directly to your front lawn!
Christiansburg has been testing Wing drones since 2019. Wing is the drone subsidiary of Alphabet (Google’s parent company). The main delivered products are rather mundane, such as pastries, tacos, and coffee. But now – Wing will be delivering those tasty Thin Mints (my personal favorite) and more. Wing worked with the local Girl Scout troops who said they have had a harder time selling cookies during the pandemic. And, let’s face it, delivering cookies is an excellent way to garner public support for commercial drone services.
Wing’s drones can carry items up to 3.3 pounds that fit into a special aerodynamic package. The drones don’t actually land in your yard; drones hover over a designated delivery area and lower the package to the ground using a string. Customers then retrieve the package from the delivery area. The drones fly lower than 400 feet and cannot be near airports. Items range from foods, flowers, medicine, and more. In addition to the U.S. location, Wing is also delivering via drone in select locations in Australia and Finland.
Now, how many boxes of cookies do you want?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: Have them think of all the products that could be delivered by drones.
- In order to be successful, companies must be able to physically get a product into the hands of the customers. Discuss how a distribution channel works.
- For Girl Scout cookies, what distribution channels are used now?
- How can the channel be expanded? What approach could be used?
- Show videos of Girl Scout cookie delivery: https://youtu.be/DFfsepDkTkA
- What can a drone deliver? https://youtu.be/HVDZgTJ8JLA
- View Wing’s Website for additional information and videos: https://wing.com/
- How does drone delivery change the experience? Positive or negative?
- Finally, what types of companies will benefit from the use of drone deliveries?
Source: Associated Press; USA Today; other news sources