With the way technology is progressing, it shouldn’t be surprising that robots are now delivering our goods. It’s quick, convenient and cost efficient. So what is robot delivery and how exactly does it work? These small pieces of machinery are autonomous delivery robots which deliver items such as household products, food from your favourite restaurants and specialty drinks. To use these wheeled robots, you simply need to make a purchase using an app with suppliers in your area, just like you would with any other delivery services. The robot has many of the same capabilities as an autonomous car to deliver your articles safely. Some bots feature multiple 360-degree cameras, several ultrasonic LIDAR sensors, GPS navigation, and much more. You can use this app to track the delivery robot’s progress as well as to unlock the safe cargo compartment carrying your product when you’re ready to collect your goods. Though keep in mind, these features will vary depending on your area.
There were many different areas that tested out the robot delivery system. A few university campus locations in the United States had taken part in this venture. The University of Arizona for instance was one of the two campuses in which robot delivery services were offered. This method of delivery was eventually pulled from the institution as the American online food and delivery platform, Grubhub ended ties with their Russian based partner Yandex due to their current conflict with Ukraine. Likewise, at one point in time in Toronto, there were pink robots by the company Tiny Mile which were being used for food delivery. They have since been taken off the streets as the company claims they would like to collaborate with authorities and the accessibility community. This type of delivery option is definitely a work in progress but is slowly progressing nonetheless.
As for the cost efficiency aspect of this delivery method, the average order for two on Uber Eats costs roughly $30 with nearly an additional $10 that goes towards delivery fees. The cost rounding up to $40. Robot delivery fees will cost approximately $2.99 depending on the area so that totals to about three times less which is quite the deal.
As this is a new advancement in technology, there is also often room for error. On the off chance that something does go wrong, a human typically always has the ability to find a solution for the robot. At no point is the robot disconnected from the operator. A curb for instance is a potential hurdle the robot will face but a human operator always has the ability to take control and find a solution.
Regarding the advantages of this practice, this include the fact that these bots are easily able to work 24/7. They do not require a break such as humans. There is also no chance that the robot will call in sick, seek a change in career or request time off for a vacation. Time on the other hand is quite crucial, especially in the food industry. Customers would like to receive their orders as soon as possible and that is possible with the use of robots. With their efficiency and ability to have a one-track mind, the customer is sure to be left satisfied. The last and arguably most important advantage is that they save businesses money. Although they are very expensive to purchase upfront, long term they are a great investment. Additionally, humans often desire a wage increase and days off. This is no issue when it comes to a robot and keeps costs to a minimum.
With positives also come negatives. As mentioned previously, these pieces of machinery are very expensive to run and install and because of this, they may not be intended for the use of smaller businesses. There is also always going to be the added expense of repairs and suffering from expensive faults which can be detrimental to the standing of a company. Lastly, although these bots are thought to be more efficient, they leave less jobs for humans who need them. Working as a courier for food delivery services is often the way individuals make ends meet and with robots as their competition, there is less room for these human beings to do so.
Despite the fact that robot delivery is a work in progress, it is a great advantage to not only business owners but the consumer. It will definitely be interesting to see how different companies apply unique features that will differentiate them from others in the industry as this type of delivery progresses.