While autonomous vehicles keep our main focus, delivery robots are showing a lot of similar potential. An entire cottage industry has blossomed around the development of those small, and mostly walkway ready helpers on wheels.
One thing all of them have in common: they are operating in public space. And we will have to get used to them. That’s a fine reason why I put together this small overview of delivery robots from around the world and in different sizes and shapes.
Starship Technologies is probably the most well known company in this industry. The London-based startup with engineering in Tallin in Estonia is testing among other locations with the delivery service Doordash in Redwood City.
Kiwi in Berkeley started with the first tests as a research project by Berkeley and Stanford. The first deliveries were to feed hungry students in Berkeley.
Robby from Palo Alto looks at the first glance like the robots from Starship Technologies, resembling a cooling box with six wheels stuck to it. With its sensors and infrared cameras the newest Robby 2 can even ‘see’ in the night and in bad weather. The range is at an astonishing 20 miles. Even the steep streets of San Francisco are no obstacle for this robot.
Marble is testing with Yelp EAT 24 to deliver food. In San Francisco of course, where else?
TeleRetail is a Swiss company that only needs two large and one small wheel. Those are balancing the cargo box, and it’s safely directed by information from the Lidar and other sensors.
Italy is also in the game thanks to Yape. This robot is really balancing itself on only two wheels.
JD.com from China is not satisfied with just one type of delivery robot. The company works on an entire series of them.
Domino’s Pizza has its robotics department based in Australia. DRU is the name of their pizza delivery robot, which keeps the pizza hot and the drinks cool in its special compartments.
PostBOT is being tested bey German Deutsche Post for postal delivery. Bad Hersfeld in Hessen is the first testing grounds of this robot, which follows the postal carrier and carries his/her mail.
Nuro brings the delivery robot on the street, moving away from the walkway. Half as broad as a car, it also can navigate between stopped cars and get to quite some speed.
Robomarts is really showing off. The Santa Clara-based startup takes delivery to a whole new level by bringing the whole supermarket on the road.
Moby Mart aims at a similar concept. A shoe store with the option to try them on is coming to customers nearby.
Did I forget some interesting delivery robots? Let me know in the comments below.
This article has also been published in German.