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Rakuten drone delivery system launched

Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten and its two partners – Docomo and Autonomous Control Laboratory – have trialled a drone-based delivery system.

The Rakuten drone delivery system uses Docomo’s LTE mobile network when a customer places an order via a smartphone.

The last experiment in the National Strategic Special Zone of Chiba city saw the cargo carried from the Inage Seaside Park to the adjacent seaside area.

The new version is upgraded with an ordering app for users and the drone dashboard for drone controlling.

Rakuten says the new “Tenku” delivery drone features a number of performance enhancements such as water-resistant. Tenku’s base is an airframe called “PF1”, developed by Autonomous Control Laboratory. The airframe helps the drone go long-distance and over the sea as well as over populated areas. A parachute is also equipped to slow the speed in case of emergency fall.

With its technologies, the operator also maps out flight routes with stable communication, and also monitors the connectivity of airborne cell phones with the mobile network at the ground level.

The new Rakuten drone-based delivery system is set to be used in urban areas after talks with the Chiba City Drone Delivery Subcommittee.

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