Peterborough's Queensgate to order fleet of bag-carrying drones

We have all been there; you've shopped until you're ready to drop, you're juggling a coffee in one hand and trying to find your car keys with the other.

Friday, 1st April 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 1st April 2016, 9:46 am
Let a drone carry your shopping.

Well problem solved thanks to Queensgate’s new initiative – Personal Assistant Drones (PADs).

Queensgate Shopping Centre is investing in a fleet of PADs that will carry shoppers’ bags, following them around the centre and even escorting them to the car – making shopping even more manageable.

Able to carry up to 50kg of shopping, the PADs will be a free service for Queensgate customers who can collect their drone from the drone docking station, located near the Customer Information Desk. Each PAD is fitted with GPS tracking that is synced with the shopper’s mobile phone device, which means they will always fly within a five metre proximity. Non-pedestrian ‘Flight Channels’ will ensure shopper safety plus each PAD will be set to a standard flying height of 8ft.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fitted with two cup holders, the PAD is also programmed to queue, order and pay for your coffee through the unique Q-PAD app. “This is an unbelievable piece of technology that will transform our customers’ shopping experience and revolutionise the way we shop,” said Centre Director at Queensgate, Mark Broadhead.

“Trials have taken place in Polar Foils in Idaho, America, and have proven both successful and popular. Now, Queensgate will be the first centre in the UK to trial the Personal Assistant Drones.”

On full charge, the Personal Assistant Drone gives up to three hours of ‘service’ and each is programmed with a shopper guide and way-finding technology. They also have a ‘lunch mode’ which, when activated, the drone will automatically fly to a ‘holding zone’ located 30ft above Central Square and then return on command once the shopper has finished dining.

Further information about the Personal Assistant Drones and how to take part in the trial can be found at

Final plans for PAD flying licenses will be submitted on Friday 1 April.