October 4, 2017
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Drone Wins Good Design Award 2017

Tokyo, October 4, 2017 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced that Rakuten Drone*1 received a Good Design Award 2017 from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP).

The Good Design Award has served as Japan’s only design evaluation and commendation system since it was launched by the Government of Japan in 1957 to identify and recognize products with particularly good design. Established with the aim of enhancing Japan’s industry and lifestyle through design, the Good Design Award has become one of the most recognized design awards in the world.

Rakuten Drone independently developed the dedicated hardware and software for a drone-based delivery solution, becoming the first company to provide such a service to consumers in May 2016.  After customers place their orders via a dedicated shopping app on their smartphones, products are loaded into a delivery box and delivered using a specially designed drone named “Tenku.” The service’s most remarkable feature is its fully automated airborne delivery, which can be carried out safely with a simple operation through the “drone dashboard” on a dedicated tablet.

Going forward, Rakuten, Inc. will continue striving to promote initiatives for resolving the challenges faced by regional communities and create a more convenient and vibrant society through the development of drone delivery services.

*1  Rakuten Drone was originally named “Sora Raku” at launch. The service was renamed in July 2017 as part of the unification of Rakuten’s brands.

Overview of Good Design Award 2017 Selection Criteria and Evaluation Comments

■ Reason for award selection:
Rakuten Drone (https://drone.rakuten.co.jp/)
After the user places an order through the dedicated smartphone app, the drone autonomously delivers the product to the designated location. The service is designed in such a way that suppliers do not need to operate complicated controllers. The drones can be operated by anyone, with the touch of a single button.

■ Evaluation comments from the selection committee:
Rakuten Drone is Japan’s first drone-based delivery service for mainstream consumers. Japan has a large number of senior citizens living on outlying islands and in mountainous areas, and there are strong expectations that drone-based infrastructure will help to resolve the challenges faced in many regions. Despite the large number of issues that still remain in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of delivery drones, the judges recognized the team’s strong enthusiasm in independently developing the drone and making the service a reality, through measures such as the fitting of a safety parachute.

■ Overview page on the Good Design Award website:

■ Event:
Rakuten Drone will be presented as one of this fiscal year’s winning designs at the GOOD DESIGN EXHIBITION 2017, an exhibition bringing together all the latest Good Design Award winners that will be held at Tokyo Midtown from Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

Date: Wed., Nov. 1 – Sun., Nov. 5
Venue: Tokyo Midtown (Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo)

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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