In Japan, Retail stores chain Lawson teamed up with commerce giant Rakuten to enable product deliveries using drones. This initiative, which pairs drone deliveries with convenience store mobile sales, is the first of its kind in Japan. The delivery drones, manufactured by ACSL (Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory), can deliver up to two kilograms (4.41 pounds) of food in a single journey.

Credit: Rakuten

Japan’s Lawson has been involved in humanitarian aid in disaster zones to help those affected by the disaster in Fukushima (A 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima triggered the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl). Since 2013, Lawson has been operating a mobile store whereby it takes a truck stocked with 300 different products to areas that are affected. But it was not able to carry hot food. Odaka, one town affected by the disaster, has been hit the hardest. Its rural location and ageing population means they couldn’t get access to essential food or household products.

To help solve this problem, Japanese convenience store chain Lawson and ecommerce firm Rakuten have teamed up to offer drone deliveries to the town. The drone service is designed to help shoppers order hot food like fried chicken and household items, which are sent from a nearby Lawson store to a mobile food van that operates at a community center in the area. The companies are trialing the service for the next six months.

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Credit: Rakuten

With SAFETY in mind, the entire drone fleet is equipped with ParaZero’s SafeAir 10 product to enable the drones to operate everywhere, safely. This is another great example of how autonomous drone parachute technology enables safe flight above people.

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Credit: Rakuten

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