Delivery Robots instead of Delivery Drones?

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Robot could be a great alternative to delivery drones… assuming the ‘bots make it to your doorstep in one piece.

Robots could be used to replace humans in tasks that humans don’t want to do,  would be cheaper if a robot did it, and the robot does the task better than a human could.

Robots could be a fair competion to delivery drones. The legal regulation, privacy concerns, and safety issues swirling around unmanned aerial vehicles are all complex and seemingly never-ending as governments around the world grapple with how to integrate drones into our lives. Right now, everyone from Amazon to Google and even Walmart are pursuing delivery drone technology.

But ground delivery robots might be better received, from a legal and privacy standpoint. The real question is, could such a robot actually be seamlessly integrated into our neighborhoods and streets? Would it run into fire hydrants, or would a group of teen rapscallions make scrap metal out of it? (The BBC reports that each Internet-connected robot would be outfitted with a speaker and cameras, and that a human operator at headquarters can alert authorities if the robot’s attacked.)

Delivery Robot from Starships Technologies

The new company Starships Technologies announced its plans to bring six-wheeled, self-driving delivery robots to the world. Two of Skype’s original cofounders, Estonians Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, helped launch this new venture.

The ground robots themselves would be small, emission-free, and each would carry 40 pounds, or the approximate equivalent of two grocery bags. Customers can pick exact time slots to expect the deliveries, which the company says can take anywhere from five to 30 minutes from nearby shops. The robot, which is equipped with nine cameras and would travel on sidewalks alongside pedestrians at four miles per hour, can be tracked by customers real-time on a mobile app. And when the robot arrives, only the customer can unlock the delivery from the robot.

Meet Savioke’s Relay Robot

Take an inside look at how Savioke’s delivery robots interact with humans, deliver items, and navigate open spaces. Led by former Willow Garage CEO Steve Cousins, Savioke is initially putting its robots to work at Starwood’s line of Aloft Hotels.

A few months’ back Savioke announced the newly redesigned, production version of Relay. Relay is the culmination of months of prototype testing, code hardening, and rolling in customer feedback. “We are now in production and proud to say that a majority of parts are fabricated in California with the final assembly taking place in our in-house production facility. This was a big milestone in scaling to meet demand for our early adopter program.”

Over time, personal robots will help people to achieve their potential, enhancing our strengths, overcoming our weaknesses, and endowing us with new capabilities we are just beginning to imagine. “We are inspired by people who use technology to overcome disabilities, and we believe that robots have the potential to make all of our lives better.”

“Relay is now appearing in hotels around Silicon Valley and beyond. “During the summer, our fleet of Relays surpassed 5,000 deliveries made and over 1,000 miles traveled. In addition to the robots in the Aloft Cupertino and Aloft Silicon Valley, Relay can now be found in the Crowne Plaza Silicon Valley/San Jose and the Holiday Inn Express in Redwood City. Watch for announcements of other hotel deployments in Sunnyvale, Los Angeles, and across the country by the end of the year.”

Pizza Delivery Robot?

Driverless pods and vehicles will invade all forms of delivery, from packages to pizza to long-haul trucking. Same-day and instant delivery could be free when no drivers need to be hired.

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