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Hungry? Grocers Experiment with Robot Delivery Services
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Robotic revolution in delivery services
  • 11/2/2017 5:08:46 PM
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Kq4 writes that

... the home grovery delivery idea made me wonder why can't the post office use robotic delivery? Everyone gets mail everyday, mail boxes are fairly standard at least in areas where they are installed on posts. It would seem not that difficult to send a delivery vehicle through the neighborhood programmed probably somewhat like Amazon's robotic "pickers" in warehouses. to distribute the mail to the boxes?

I strongly suspect that USPS execs have been pondering (and perhaps salivating over) this very idea. Likewise package delivery services such as FedEx and UPS.

Now the downside: Think of the huge loss of letter carrier and delivery truck driver jobs this may entail.

 

Re: Amazing
  • 10/31/2017 4:41:32 PM
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Lyndon writes, 'I'd envision a combo of robocar (i.e., totally autonomous vehicle) with the smaller robot aboard. When the robocar arrives at the destination, the delivery robot would dismount to provide the shorter delivery connection directly to the customer.' I'm in full agreement. Multi layer capabilities and options need to be incorporated in the robot system to address different challenges that will be encountered. The beauty of it is its simplicity, but that's its drawback as well.

Re: Amazing
  • 10/31/2017 4:34:15 PM
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@Kq4ym, you would think that regular mail delivery consisting of your standard envelopes would qualify for such an initiative, but remember that you are dealing with the most antiquated organization with a culture that is resistant to any and all change. However, it would have to allow for regional needs and system wide standardization is a must with them.

Re: Amazing
  • 10/22/2017 11:47:20 AM
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I haven't read about it, but the home grovery delivery idea made me wonder why can't the post office use robotic delivery? Everyone gets mail everyday, mail boxes are fairly standard at least in areas where they are installed on posts. It would seem not that difficult to send a delivery vehicle through the neighborhood programmed probably somewhat like Amazon's robotic "pickers" in warehouses. to distribute the mail to the boxes?

Re: Amazing
  • 10/19/2017 4:36:41 PM
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Maryam writes "Eventually, I think they hope these robots will be able to travel alone ...."

Yeah, I certainly hope so too. Needing a handler definitely seems to defeat the basic idea of a robot.

Maryam continues:

I personally think they need to be taller to avoid issues with traffic and pedestrians but we will see if they are able to navigate streets and if regulators approve them in city areas.

As I commented earlier, currently they seem designed to work in constrained, very dense inner-city areas with short, easy-to-nevigate sidewalk distances between stores and customers. However, I'd predict that to be truly cost-effective they will need to be able to travel longer distances between, say, big-box stores and suburban homes or offices.

For this, I'd envision a combo of robocar (i.e., totally autonomous vehicle) with the smaller robot aboard. When the robocar arrives at the destination, the delivery robot would dismount to provide the shorter delivery connection directly to the customer.

 

Re: Amazing
  • 10/18/2017 1:17:55 PM
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Eventually, I think they hope these robots will be able to travel alone, I personally think they need to be taller to avoid issues with traffic and pedestrians but we will see if they are able to navigate streets and if regulators approve them in city areas.

Re: Amazing
  • 10/18/2017 1:16:07 PM
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Lyndon today the handler avoids such issues but I agree it will tough for the robot to predict human behavior in crowded cities. Time will tell how broad reaching this will become.

Re: Amazing
  • 10/18/2017 8:16:46 AM
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Because there is a human "handler" accompanying the robot I wonder if a bicycle courier might be able to do the same job? It still seems a bit premature to have robots delivering groceries except for the public relations and publicity factor.

Re: Amazing
  • 10/17/2017 1:10:38 PM
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Maryam explains that "the devices are equipped with security and are monitored until they reach their recipient."

I'm thinking of situations like dingbat drivers, especially the ones in big pickups, making right turns on red ...  and I'm imagining lots of crunching sounds as little robots below the line of sight get squashed by cars and trucks making unexpected quick right turns.

I'm also thinking about all the highly motivated young devils that are extremely creative in finding ways to sabotage sophisticated technical devices found throughout the cityscape ...

 

Re: Amazing
  • 10/17/2017 11:04:42 AM
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Seth the idea for Tesco was to permeate the fast need market. They already have a service for big orders which typically requires more time to pick and deliver. We have all been there we are short a few items in between grocery runs or get sick and need a few items delivered. In this situation we might go to a convenience store, drug store etc. and the supermarket loses that revenue. This is a way to erode the convenience store pickup market.

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