Kroger Makes First Drone Delivery, and It’s Kind of Underwhelming [Video]
Kroger officially made their first drone delivery today, and I don't know, maybe it's just me but...it's pretty underwhelming.
I should say before we get started that personally, I'm a fan of Kroger. My older brother worked there when he was in high school, so I have fond memories of going to Kroger when I was little.
In the video posted to the WDSU News Facebook page, you'll see the Kroger drone descending to complete its ceremonious inaugural grocery delivery. As the drone lowers in altitude, we get to see that it's a dreary, rainy, overcast morning in Centerville, Ohio.
Hey, a bit of cruddy weather can't derail this important day in Kroger's history, right? Certainly not, but I feel like maybe it should have.
Next, the triumphant Kroger drone hovers on down as local dignitaries and Kroger executives video and take pictures in front of the Centerville City Hall.
I was pretty sure it was going to continue its descent a lot closer to the ground before releasing the cargo, and then the gathered crowd would cheer and clap to mark this important moment in the company's history.
The drone continues on down and stops at what appears to be about 10ft above the ground. I'm guessing obviously, but we'll go with that. Heck, it could actually be higher than that. The height is important here as you'll see.
That...that didn't really happen.
Instead, the drone callously dropped its delivery from about 10ft onto the wet grass, soaking part of the box. The video ends shortly after the box plops down, but there's no clapping or cheering as if those in attendance are a bit confused...kind of like I am.
So, why am I so underwhelmed as I stated in the title?
First, the distance the drone dropped the package from seems a bit haphazard. Obviously, if you've only ordered marshmallows, Twizzlers, corkscrew pasta, and chapstick, dropping your order from 10ft in the air onto wet grass in the rain probably wouldn't be a problem, at least not for long depending on how long it stayed in your yard. However, if you ordered anything that could break or get smooshed like chips or bread, this could be a serious enough issue to not use the service. Imagine if there were a six-pack of Coke or Oreos in that box?
In my defense of being kind of "Meh", it seems that I'm not the only one confused about this whole thing.
Also, it's important to know that Kroger's drone delivery service is limited to a maximum weight of 5lbs. The weight restriction shouldn't be an issue considering the drone service is designed for small orders, not someone's weekly or monthly grocery needs.
Secondly, I know Kroger was excited to make this happen, but maybe they should have postponed it until the weather was more favorable, I don't know. No one could clap for the inaugural delivery because their hands were full holding umbrellas.
OK, a few folks did let out a cheer I guess, but it seems forced to me.
Lastly, I'm not sure if the plan moving forward is to have the drones dropping deliveries from that height, but hopefully not. It seems to me that Kroger hasn't really worked out all of the kinks yet.
Maybe they rushed the whole drone delivery initiative to beat their competition to the punch, kind of the race to the moon in the 60s. Thankfully, the moon landing went much smoother.
Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today and I'm just being crabby. What do you think, is this as underwhelming to you as it is to me?