A few years back, production of autonomous delivery machines was only being done by two companies, and that at that time seemed like a niche. Nevertheless, numerous startups are now providing autonomous delivery robots, a bigger trend by retailers involving use of these robotics and artificial intelligence gaining momentum. Additionally, it is predicted by McKinsey and Company that approximately 80 percent of “last-mile delivery” will be done either by drones or ground robots.
These autonomous delivery machines utilize artificial intelligence and will consequently result in unemployment. However, these machines also need to be monitored therefore has led in an entirely new job category known as a “robot wrangler,” but this innovation is something embrace.
The battle for sidewalk delivery has been heating up over the past few months, and this startup based in San Francisco is not being left behind. Just recently, this company pulled in $10 million Series, and its Investors include individuals Cruise Automation, a company which has just been acquired by General Motors for $1 billion together with Tencent, a Tech giant in China. Furthermore, this company was started in 2015, and its goal has been to develop completely autonomous delivery machines which can safely navigate throughchaotic city sidewalks where bicycle peddlers, pets and pedestrians engage in unchoreographed movements.
Usually, these machines use cameras, high-resolution 3D city maps for navigation, as well as LiDAR and have an approximate size of an office copier. It was with food delivery service Eat24 that this company first had a collaboration to test out its autonomous delivery machines and their robotics come with swappable cargo bays which can be used to transport different kinds of products. These products range from prescription medicine to food.
These autonomous delivery machines are in the category of super-sized delivery vehicles, and this startup is based in Silicon Valley. In January, this startup raised $92 million for these robots which are approximately the size of a golf cart, and some of the Investors include a Chinese venture firm, Banyan Capital as well as other top VC firms in Greylock Partners. Added in this delivery robot are the standard features found in self-driving vehicles, including radar, cameras, and LiDAR, with this no surprise since the founders are a couple of former self-driving vehicle engineers from Google. According to a recent report by Forbes, Nuro is presently manufacturing half-dozen electric cars to carry everything, that is, food, groceries, packages, and flowers.
However, these autonomous delivery machines will stick to the city streets and not highways and have no human inside the vehicle. Additionally, the cost of developing this robot is significantly lower in comparison to a standard self-driving car.
Starship Technologies, a company founded in 2014 has its base in London as well as engineering facilities in Estonia is among the most known autonomous delivery robot firm out there. Since we first featured Starship, the company has gone and raised $17.4 million with its founders the same individuals who formed Skype. The delivery robots build by Starship Technologies, resemble ice coolers on wheels instead of a futuristic robot. Customers make an order via the company’s app, which then allows them to track this autonomous delivery machine as it navigates through the cities like San Jose. Moreover, these robots can make deliveries within 30 minutes on its six-wheels with distributions made within a two-mile radius.
Robby Technologies, another startup from Silicon Valley, is the result of The Y Combinator program after its formation in 2016 by some MIT specialists in computer vision and robotics. Additionally, this startup, then picked about $2.1 million in Seed funding with its model that resembles a grocery cart which has more NASCAR-kind marketing. This company’s new Robby 2 model can traverse on a single mile more than 20 miles with these autonomous delivery machines supposedly present in eight cities in California.
Founded in 2013, TeleRetail is a Swiss startup which has allegedly raised approximately $2 million, and this includes grants from The European Space Agency. Furthermore, this company utilizes some sort of subscription-based logistics model for all its tri-wheeled autonomous delivery machines which employ GPS, computer vision and high-tech sensors to independently navigate. Present in this robot is hardware from firms like NVIDIA.
This startup raised $2 million in Seed money from Investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and is another startup from Bay Area, has recently released another model called Carry, which is a Hummer version of autonomous delivery machines from this company. Also, this robot model has four compartments which can carry about 100 pounds at a time with cool compartment doors which slide up as well as computer vision and complex algorithms to safely traverse through its surroundings.
This company has opted for a unique design for its autonomous delivery machines with its four-legged vehicles. Its co-founder, a former data scientist at Lyft, designed this robot with an intention of it doing curbside delivery with the idea being a network of Lyft-like drivers dropping numerous robots called Aida at every street corner. Consequently, they then go ahead and carry out their last mile delivery to your residence.
It is another startup from Silicon Valley frequently seen on the streets and sidewalks of Savioke delivering coffee and other sundry stuff in places like manufacturing facilities or hotels. Moreover, the company was started in 2013 and has subsequently raised about $17 million from various Investors including Intel.
Serve is Postmates latest revolutionary and advanced delivery service that comes with its personality that all about understanding customers. These autonomous delivery machines traverse through the streets, making deliveries right to your doorstep both during the day and night and has consequently made millions of distributions. Some of the features of these robots are innovative sensors and LiDAR, which help it recreate the world in real-time together with an NVIDIA XAVIER processor. Moreover, these robots can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge while carrying a load of about 50 pounds.
It is a unique autonomous delivery machine which recreates the supermarket and stocks numerous items including groceries, baked goods as well as prepared food which gets delivered straight to your doorstep. All customer needs to do is place an order through this company’s app, and immediately the robot arrives, you will get a notification via its mobile app. Founded by Ali Ahmed, came up with this autonomous delivery machine while still working for Unilever. Features of this robot include use of NVIDIA independent driving platform that uses artificial intelligence which allows automatic opening of this vehicle’s door.