With long queues and physical distancing now the norm at shops across Japan, Rakuten’s Drone UGV team is launching a new service aimed at making shopping safer and more convenient. The service comes amid increasing consumer demand for home delivery and non-face-to-face delivery. At the same time, the Japanese government is keen to achieve implementation of automated unmanned ground vehicle deliveries on public roads in 2020.
Automated robots at the Tokyu Resorts & Stays glamping facility in Nagano Prefecture.
Rakuten has long been at the forefront of efforts to provide automated drone delivery services for Japanese consumers — particularly for individuals in hard-to-reach or underserviced locations. So far, trial deliveries have been made to a remote island in Ehime, a private home in Shizuoka, a remote island in Tokyo Bay, leisure-seekers at a coastal park, and a disaster-struck area in Fukushima. Recently, the company is also using autonomous drones to inspect Rakuten Mobile’s new cell towers.
Rakuten UGV makes glamping more convenient
The latest on the team’s list of innovative drone delivery services is an unmanned solution that utilizes an automated robot provided by Rakuten to serve guests of a glamping facility located in Tokyu Resort Town Tateshina, a resort complex in Nagano Prefecture.
Offered in collaboration with Tokyu Resorts & Stays, the delivery service runs from August 1 to September 22, 2020. It offers guests staying in the “Glamorous Dining Tateshina” resort facility the convenience of ordering a range of products, including ingredients for barbecues, hors d’oeuvres and desserts to be delivered by the Rakuten UGV.
Customers can place their orders using the dedicated app on the smartphone terminal installed in each tent. After the order is received, the staff at the facility load the order into the delivery box on the UGV, which then autonomously delivers the products to their destination. Upon arrival, the customer inputs their pass code into the control panel on the UGV to open the delivery box and receive their products.
Previously, camp employees would personally deliver orders to the tents. Not only does the new service allow a safer socially-distanced delivery, it also increases efficiency within the operations.
With safety, social distancing and convenience more in demand than ever, Rakuten’s UGV might just be the perfect helper for this summer season.