A Japanese golf course could soon be reverberating to shouts of drone, not fore.
Online shopping portal Rakuten will begin drone deliveries at a golf course to the east of Tokyo in May. The new service will be tested for a month and allow users to order through an Android app from a menu of roughly 100 items.
They’ll be golfing goods, like new balls, and refreshments on offer.
Once orders, the goods will be packaged into a box and the drone will autonomously fly to a delivery point. Each flight is limited to 2 kilograms and the drone won’t operate during bad weather.
It’s the latest in a number of drone deliver test projects by online retailers and delivery companies. The most famous work is that being done by Amazon, which is keen to begin drone delivery services as a way to get small goods to consumers quickly. It’s pushing U.S. regulators to relax rules and allow it to begin tests.
Parcel delivery company DHL has also used drones to deliver packages to an offshore island in Germany and Google has been testing out its own drone delivery system.
Rakuten’s service is based on a six-rotor coptor from Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory, a Japanese drone maker that it invested in in March this year.
The service will be available for a month from May 9. If all goes well, it will be extended and could spread to other courses in Japan.