Drones are becoming more popular by the day, and corporations are taking notice. Companies like Amazon are already using drones to transport deliveries from their warehouses to customers, and it was only a matter of time before food began being delivered by drones, too.
Restaurants have gotten in on the usage of drones, but so have companies. Fukushima was badly affected by a series of nuclear meltdowns in 2011, and so the area had to be evacuated immediately or risk facing life-threatening ailments. In 2016, people were allowed back into Minamisoma, a town that is only about 10 miles from the nuclear station that housed the nuclear meltdowns.
While Minamisoma began hosting people again, much of the infrastructure was unusable, and the majority of its roads are blocked. Because of this, it is very difficult for vehicles to move in and out of the area, severely limiting the resources available to residents. Lawson, a retail chain that was helping deliver food to rural areas of Japan for several years decided to begin using drones to help the people of Minamisoma.
Using the Tenku, a 6×7.7-inch drone made by Rakuten, Lawson is able to transport over 4 lbs of fried chicken in one flight. The company is testing drone delivery for the coming 6 months, but people who live in Minamisoma are hopeful that the test leads to permanent drone delivery services. Hot food is scarce in the area, and having drones able to deliver warm food so quickly is comforting to the area’s inhabitants.
While this service needs a lot more research and testing before it can be permanent, officials are already looking into making that a reality. Further safety measures have to be implemented before anything happens; and while the region is still recovering from the nuclear disaster, the drones assisting their efforts through delivering hot, delicious food to their homes, is a comfort during such difficult times.