My golfing experience is limited to conquering the putt-putt obstacles of a mini-golf course or attempting to whack balls at a driving range with the sloppy brutality of Happy Gilmore.
But I know people who do play, and I can tell you it isn’t the quickest of games.
That being said, eighteen holes of golf can be a test of great patience and fortitude—especially if a golfer forgets to bring snacks. (And believe me, it’s probably best to avoid hanger in anyone who can skillfully wield a nine iron…)
That’s why Japanese delivery company Rakuten is launching its Sora Raku drone delivery service at a course in Japan’s Chiba prefecture to bring food and equipment to golfers mid-game. Golfers simply use an Android app to place an order (for extra balls or refreshments, for instance) and then designate specific pick-up points on the course.
The aircraft, a Mini Surveyor drone, was developed by the Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory, a company Rakuten has invested in. After the one month trial (which began on May 9), the e-commerce giant will assess whether the technology can be expanded to other golf courses or (in the spirit of Amazon’s Prime Air program), people’s homes.
According to the company, “Rakuten is looking into the utilization of drones for deliveries in sparsely populated areas and mountainous regions, in transporting supplies during disasters…and aims to accumulate technical and operational expertise through running the service and put it to use in developing further innovative drone delivery services.”
In the meantime though, looks like a lot of caddies will be out of a job.
For past Drone of the Week features:
- Drone Captures 70 Sharks Feasting on a Whale
- ‘Buggy’ Drone Can Perch on Ceilings and Walls
- ‘Bomb-Sniffing’ UAVs Can Detect Nuclear Weapons
- This Unmanned Aircraft Flies With Only One Moving Part
- How the Air Force Plans to Develop Shape-Shifting UAVs
- Watch this Drone Catapult into Pork Because Science
- Your Own Personal VTOL Aerial Transporter
- This Chainsaw Drone Is the Stuff of Nightmares
- Why the Army Needs Bumblebee-Sized UAVs
- After Two Months, UAV Can Launch Itself From the Nautical Depths
- How This Delivery Copter is Helping HIV-Positive Kids in Africa
- UAV Takes on McLaren in Epic High-Speed Race
- UAVs to Spot Sharks (and Their Victims) in Land Down Under
- 5 Drones Straight Out of This Year’s NY Toy Fair
- Military Tests Lightning-Fast Quadcopter for Indoor Surveillance
- How Google is Using UAVs to Blast 5G Internet from the Sky
- A ‘Crazy’ Copter That Dives Underwater
- German UAV Lands on Moving Vehicle
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)