In late May, Rakuten joined forces with Panasonic Holdings Corporation and nationwide Japanese grocery chain Seiyu to offer UGV-powered deliveries to nearly 1,000 households in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture. The UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) conveys grocery orders from Seiyu’s Tsukuba Takezono Store placed by residents through a dedicated smartphone website developed by Rakuten — with deliveries being made in as little as 30 minutes.
More than 2,000 different products are available for order, including everything from frozen foods to ready-made meals. Customers are able to check on the delivery UGV’s current location and estimated delivery time, and when their order has arrived, can be notified via phone call or text message. The UGV tasked with this mission is an X-Area Robo automated delivery robot, developed by Panasonic Holdings Corporation.
This project marks the first time in Japan that on-demand deliveries of supermarket products will be made in as little as 30 minutes from time of order, using a UGV on public roads. Deliveries will be made every Saturday until July 30, 2022.