Imagine… an autonomous delivery robot that looks like the love child of an ice box and R2-D2 pulls up outside your house. Upon delivery, you simply pop open the lid, uncovering a box of your favourite pastries inside!
Robovan is a partnership between Starship Technologies and Mercedes-Benz Vans and aims to be the world’s first transportation system that integrates specially-adapted vans with autonomous delivery robots to allow efficient delivery of goods in neighbourhoods.
Instead of completing door-to-door delivery, the vans will drive to pre-agreed locations to load and unload goods and then dispatch the robots in the final step for on-demand delivery. Upon making the customer delivery, the robots will autonomously find their way back to the van for re-loading.
A recent test run of startup, Starship Technologies, autonomous robot shows what may be the future of on-demand delivery. The London and Estonia-based company have developed a fleet of delivery bots that aim to crack the last-mile challenge. The robots utilize cameras, GPS, software, and the company’s proprietary maps to navigate the world around it.