Snapdeal and autonomous mobility startup Ottonomy IO have successfully conducted tested last-mile delivery using robots. The orders placed by users were delivered in the last mile by a robot with the package sanitised on the way. The contactless delivery of a sanitized packet is an initiative by the firms to make e-commerce deliveries safer for its users.
The robots can run along sidewalks and local streets autonomously to deliver orders to nearby homes. It uses specialized AI algorithms to navigate crowded areas. These robots use machine learning, fuse data from 3D Lidar and cameras to have a robust understanding of the external world.
Programmed with the layout of the delivery areas, the robots navigate to reach the consumer. Once the delivery robot arrives at the doorstep, the customer receives an alert. Through a unique QR code sent to the user, the hold area of the robot can be unlocked and the customer can retrieve their order.
Since the delivery robots can carry multiple orders at a time, the QR code used by the customer only unlocks the specific package hold area that contains the order placed by the user.
E-commerce delivery experiments were carried out in select locations of Delhi NCR. The delivery robots were stationed at the entrance of residential societies, wherein the delivery agent scanned a QR code and placed the package inside. Equipped with the society’s map, the robot navigated to reach the consumer and disinfected the packet on the way.
These autonomous delivery robots are equipped with ultraviolet lighting to disinfect the packet while navigating to the delivery location. Contactless autonomous delivery of goods with an in-built disinfection feature is the first-of-its-kind initiative globally in e-commerce.
The robots can be remotely monitored and controlled whenever there is human intervention needed.
“We are investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop future-oriented capabilities. Delivery via robots is part of the evolving future of logistics and we are excited to partner with Ottonomy IO to test these technologies. We believe that delivery robots will have a unique role to play in e-commerce deliveries in large townships, institutional campuses and other managed residential environments. Contactless delivery via robotic vehicles is a step in building a safer and convenient future for shoppers”, said Snapdeal spokesperson.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, the contactless robot delivery initiative addresses consumers concerns around safe delivery of online purchases.