Connecting farmers and consumers with IoT

Innovative cellular IoT solution delivers local ingredients from farm to fridge

About

“Cookpad Mart” is an e-commerce service that allows consumers to buy fresh ingredients directly from local producers via an app. Purchased products will be delivered to the “Mart Station”, a fresh delivery box installed in the area on the day of shipment. 

What makes Cookpad Mart unique is their regional delivery model which ensures that products are sent directly from farmers and speciality stores without going through a delivery center where their quality could suffer. However, in order to consistently provide every order detail from receipt to delivery, Cookpad had to start developing their own hardware.

Challenge

Cookpad decided to use a label printer to efficiently print customer orders and delivery information. Farmers and speciality stores could print Cookpad Mart orders, attach them to the ingredients and deliver them to the driver for shipment. 

However, for this to be effective, the labels needed to be resistant to environmental factors like water. Plus, this needed to be an intuitive solution where each order was submitted with the same variables so that consumers wouldn’t receive different order details after every purchase. 

To solve their problem, Cookpad Mart developed a prototype in two weeks, essentially combining a printer with an iPad. Once it was built, they asked a farmer to test their solution and found that the label printing would often fail due to paper jams and freezes and poor connection between IoT devices.

Solution

Automated operation and remote maintenance via SORACOM Canal/Gate

In order to build a stable label printer operation, Cookpad installed a Raspberry Pi with SORACOM Air cellular connectivity as a communications router, and performed periodic status monitoring.

With this solution, the label printing information for each order is sent using the SORACOM Canal private connection service and managed through the Soracom API. When problems are detected, Cookpad’s operations team performs remote maintenance using SORACOM Gate from the server side to drastically reduce printing problems.

Development documents are maintained in the Soracom platform where the high compatibility with web technologies drastically improves ease of access.

Cookpad Mart also built a food temperature management system to ensure product quality on delivery. Temperature, humidity and real-time location are gathered by SORACOM Beacon using SORACOM Air cellular connectivity and are displayed via SORACOM Harvest.

Why Soracom?

Soracom’s unified endpoint function allows the collected data to be connected to multiple Soracom services at once, allowing Cookpad Mart to link their IoT system on AWS via SORACOM Funnel simultaneously.

By using Soracom services, Cookpad Mart’s system was developed in one week by two people: an application engineer and a server-side engineer.

Future Plans

Cookpad continues to develop their hardware with an emphasis on speed, with prototype production taking anywhere from a week to a month. 

In the future, Cookpad plans on continuing to quicken their development and scaling while making it easier for customers to use their service.

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