Want a quick meal? Once upon a time you’d just walk over to a vending machines or pull up to a drive-thru window. Such trips will soon be less necessary thanks to the creators of the Just Eat app and Starship Technologies. This summer the new partners are testing robot deliveries of food and packages in London, Bern, Greenwich, and Dusseldorf.
Deliver robots don’t have to look like a human being designed by a welder or R2-D2 on steroids. The sleek little rascals are designed to do one thing: deliver the goods. The large heated compartment holds twenty pounds of food, about the same as two grocery bags.
Delivery drones are designed to be used by stores and restaurants, that want to transport goods from a hub to local customers—cheap and efficiently. Today it costs more than $15 to deliver a package in London. A drone can do it for $1.29 within its 30-minute range. After debuting in Europe this month, test trials will being in New York next spring.
Delivery Robots Give New Meaning to Meals on Wheels
The six-wheeled bot walks along the pavement at about 4 m.p.h. and is able to navigate curbs and avoid people. To prevent some pizza-hungry bot bandit from stealing the contents, the cargo area is sealed. Only the customer can open the lid upon arrival, using an order number and a smartphone.
For further safety, the 40-pound, battery-powered robot is tracked in real time. It’s equipped with nine cameras and able to post a police report should foul play occur. So far test runs have covered nearly 5,000 miles and encountered 400,000 people without a single accident or theft. You can follow the course of a robot delivery in this video.
The device is yet to be named, but I’m thinking something like Uber Deli might work. If you come upon one on the street, just step aside, tip your hat, and make way for the future.