Convenience store chain Lawson Inc. and e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. has launched a drone delivery trial in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture.

“We’ve now entered a new exciting era of automated delivery of the latest cutting-edge technologies,” Rakuten Inc. Vice President Kentaro Hyakuno told reporters.

The first such trial in the country will run for six months and is aimed at providing greater accessibility to vital telecommunications equipment in rural and ageing districts.

After receiving an order from a mobile catering car, a drone will deliver products from a local warehouse. When Tsuyoshi Takano, 70, ordered fried chicken and a fax machine, the products were delivered by Rakuten’s drone in several minutes.

Takano said after receiving the food and fax machine, “The chicken is warm and tasty – and my next order will be even easier now I can send facsimiles.”

The Rakuten drone, 20 centimeters long and wide, and 15 cm high, can carry up to 30 kilograms of fax machine.

Image: Trackimo (edited TRW)




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