Holiday-makers will soon be able to become real beach bums – by having their ice creams delivered to them by DRONE.
Initial trials of the pioneering scheme along at Mablethorpe, Lincs, which boasts almost four miles of golden sands have proved a success.
Now Rock & Ices Limited, based just yards from the town’s beach, is awaiting official safety approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to launch the unique service.
The company realised beach-goers hated getting up from their deckchairs so decided to take the ice cream parlour to them using new technology.
Ice creams are ordered using the Ice Me smartphone app from which six varieties of ice cream priced, 99p for a cone and £1.20 for cone with flake, are available, and delivered to an iPad in the seafront store.
Then, using GPS, the orders will be sent by a £4,000 drone to the customer – who won’t have had to lift a finger.
The ice cream will be them same price when delivered by drone as if it is if it’s collected from the shop, meaning holidaymakers have no excuse but to sit back and relax.
Nigel Stephenson, director of Mablethorpe Rock & Ices Limited, said: “We have often been asked about delivering ice creams on the beach and with the poor weather at the start of the season we are looking at ways at helping visitors to the resort enjoy more beach time now the sun has arrived.
“We first looked at how someone could remotely order an ice cream and as most people now use apps for everything thought we should have an app.
“We then needed to find a cost effective solution to deliver ice creams to people on the beach.”
The company contacted specialists TheDroneMan.net for assistance.
The drone being used is a modified DJI Inspire that has been fitted with three GPS sensors for additional safety.
It can carry a weight of 1.2kg – the equivalent of 10 Mr Whippy’s.
Michael Kheng, chief operator of TheDroneMan.net, said: “We are really pleased to be involved in this project.
“Many companies are looking at deliveries by drone. We need to keep at the forefront of the industry and try to lead rather than follow.
“The drone being used in the tests has been modified to include some of the latest safety measures available and, if we’re happy the tests have been successful, a safety case application will be submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in order to obtain the necessary permissions.”
Tourism manager at East Lindsey District Council, James Gilbert, said the initiative was exciting.
He added: “I’m pleased businesses on our coast are thinking about how modern technology can be used to ensure they give visitors a great holiday experience.
“We must, of course, be mindful of the need to ensure that any drone activity on our beaches is safe and controlled as was the case during this testing.”
Mablethorpe Rock & Ices Limited is now awaiting permission to start the project.
In 2015 Uber – the app-driven taxi alternative – trialled a similar ice cream drone delivery service in Singapore.
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