The drone craze is continuing to grow as we see more and more of them take to the sky. Large vendors such as Amazon are delivering their products with them and endless new technologies that make their use that much easier are constantly being unveiled. It’s no surprise that food is now being delivered by air.
It isn’t a restaurant that is doing these deliveries just for convenience though. In 2011, the towns and villages in Fukushima were affected by Japan’s worst nuclear disaster ever. Tsunamis and earthquakes caused their nuclear power plant to have three nuclear meltdowns, which had all residents evacuate the area. When the ban was lifted last year, inhabitants began returning to the town of Minamisoma, which is about 10 miles from the actual nuclear station.
Many of the roads and areas within Minamisoma are still unpassable. Cars and vehicles are unable to easily get in and out of the area, which leaves the residents without a lot of resources. Lucky for these residents that the retail chain Lawson, which has been delivering food to remote areas of the country since 2013, has decided to think outside the box when it comes to their delivery service. When using a van for deliveries, they were able to take a limited amount of food, and oftentimes, it did not arrive hot. Through the use of a drone, they are able to deliver over 4 pounds of fried chicken in a single flight.
Through the use of the Tenku, an unmanned aerial vehicle made by the IT company Rakuten that measures 6 inches tall and 7.7 inches wide, Lawson is helping the town of Minamisoma return to life. The companies have launched a 6-month long trial, but the service already has residents hoping that it becomes permanent. With a lack of hot food that is ready to eat without preparation, it is convenient for them to receive the hot chicken delivered by these drones.
There is already talks of expanding the service, but officials want others to be certain that they are taking into account drone and public safety if an expansion were to take place. Though Minamisoma will still need a lot of time to rebuild, especially things such as their shops and restaurants, they are accepting and happy with the drone flights that are currently assisting them. Rebuilding will take time, but they are glad to have found a way to receive hot and ready food while they are putting the pieces back together.