Proving test for transporting school library books successfully conducted with drones in cooperation with Senboku City and NICT.

April 12, 2016
Event Report


Prodrone Co., Ltd. (Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Masakazu Kono President) in collaboration with Semboku City, Akita (Mitsuhiro Kadowaki, Mayor) and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) (Koganei City, Tokyo, Masao Sakauchi, Chairman), successfully performed a demonstration of transporting books between school libraries with unmanned aircraft, or “drone”. This demonstration is a first of its kind since the designation of the city of Semboku as a “local creation zone” in August of last year to revitalize the local economy through drone applications.

Video report (Produced by the City of Semboku and the Kinmirai no Machi Video Project)
The drone airframe used in the demonstration.

The elementary and junior high school libraries of Semboku had, a few years back, built an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) system for libraries of public schools in Semboku, however, because the teachers needed to deliver the books, the system was very rarely used. PRODRONE and NICT, put together a drone delivery system in conjunction with this OPAC, controllable with cloud services on Android devices and PCs. Next generation encryption security was developed with NICT for the project, paying the utmost attention to safety. The application of a drone for delivery services met with all eyes that day.

The PRODRONE developed, Library Delivery Drone Manager. Deliveries are carried out through the connected OPAC for schools in Semboku.

Using this “Drone Zone”, we want to help the elementary and junior high students achieve their dreams, spoke Semboku mayor Mitsuhiro Kadowaki. To make that sentiment real, the April 11th demonstration was carried out by a PRODRONE made, all-weather drone (PD6-AW DELIX Variant), customized with a case to carry the library materials, and autopilot navigation features. It carried three copies of “The Little Prince” (a total weight of about 1kg) about 1.2km from the Saimyoji elementary school to the Saimyoji junior high school. The flight was done at an altitude of about 50m for 10 minutes.

Flight and landing within the school grounds
Customized off the medium-sized PD6-AW airframe
A special case was fitted to the bottom of the drone
Choosing the safest flight path, the drone flies on autopilot
The books are delivered safely and the students watch on

Take-offs and landings are handled by the operator. When the drone reaches an altitude of 50m, it switches to automatic navigation. Flight routes, houses and other obstacles are avoided and the safest route possible is chosen. Just below the drone is drives the monitoring vehicle. When the car has to wait for a red light while crossing the street, the drone adjusts and hovers in stand-by until the car can proceed. Features like these provide safety on all levels.

Aerial photos from the attached camera (basis camera, no gimbal)
Interview with Semboku mayor, Mitsuhiro Kadowaki after the successful completion of the demonstration


■Prodrone Co., Ltd.
Company name: Prodrone Co., Ltd (PRODRONE)
Representative: Masakazu Kono, President Tokyo Office: Hirakawacho Daiichiseimei Bld. 1st floor, 1-2-10, Hirakawacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0093, Japan Research and Development Headquarters: Bantane Sakae Bld. 16th floor, 2-4, Shinsakaemachi, Naka-ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi, 460-0004, Japan Website:

■National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

Inquiries Regarding this Release

PRODRONE Research and Development Headquarters
Contact Persons: Ichihara/ Komatsu
Bantane Sakae Bld. 16th floor, 2-4, Shinsakaemachi, Naka-ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi, 460-0004, Japan
TEL (+81)-52-950-1278
FAX (+81)-52-950-1277

Recent News