Refrigeratedtransporter 1855 Orange Leaf Yogurt Drone Pic

Project Flying Orange Unicorn delivers frozen yogurt by using a drone

Oct. 11, 2016
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt announced the success of its first drone delivery test at Hope College in Holland MI—marking the first time worldwide that frozen yogurt (froyo) has ever been delivered by drone.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt announced the success of its first drone delivery test at Hope College in Holland MI—marking the first time worldwide that frozen yogurt (froyo) has ever been delivered by drone.

The pilot delivery program, titled Project Flying Orange Unicorn, is an experiment with commercial airborne froyo deliveries, working within the US Federal Aviation Authority guidelines. Based on positive feedback of Hope College students, Orange Leaf Holland will begin offering drone froyo delivery, by appointment only. The drones will be guided by human pilots and will make deliveries coordinated by Holland’s Orange Leaf store six blocks from campus.

Project Flying Orange Unicorn was led by Jeremy Latchaw, franchise owner of the Holland and Grandville Orange Leaf locations and president of Mishigami Group, a drone dealership currently working with Michigan fire and police departments to develop unmanned aerial vehicle programs. He serves as a major in the US Army and was deployed twice during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Mishigami Group, including the drone’s pilot Matt Rybar, will continue to assist Orange Leaf in further assessing the pilot program.

Video recorded of the drone delivery highlights the modified to-go delivery box and frozen packing materials that Orange Leaf Holland developed specifically for this test. Orange Leaf launched its original Pop-Up Party Box to-go packaging in November 2015 with stores reporting rapid adoption by schools, at-home birthday parties, and office parties.

Once reserved for sci-fi movies, drone testing among restaurant and food brands is on the rise. Orange Leaf is now flying in the same space as brands such as Chipotle and Domino’s Pizza, which tested drone delivery earlier in 2016.

In another Domino’s Pizza development, the company has been testing self-driving delivery vehicles. A recent article by Michal Addady on Fortune’s website discusses this development:

Domino’s Pizza is one step closer to launching the world’s first autonomous pizza delivery vehicle.

Back in March, the pizza chain introduced its self-driving delivery vehicle in Australia. At just three feet tall, the car can hold up to 10 pies and deliver on off-road routes like grass, according to Business Insider. Domino’s has been working with Marathon Targets, a Sydney-based robotics company, to bring the design to life.

Though it isn’t a “car” per se, the autonomous vehicle is now serving Australia-based customers. A spokesperson told Fortune that it’s still in the trial process and “is not yet in a fully autonomous state.”

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is a self-serve snack franchise with about 300 locations in the United States and Australia.

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