What are Autonomous Robots?

An autonomous robot or an Autobot is a robot that carries out high-autonomy tasks without any external influence. The automation system in Autobots is an integration of sensors, controls, actuators, and AI-based commands. The services of these robots are particularly desired in fields like spaceflights, home cleaning, wastewater treatment, and delivery of goods. Author/inventor David L. Heiserman suggested and demonstrated early versions of these robots. 

In the early 1960s, the first robots were used in the industry to unload components in a die casting plant. A wide variety of companies, from garage start-ups to retail have now adopted robotic deliveries. Many use six-wheel-driven robots that drive along the sidewalks, business parks, and university campuses. Others are considerably bigger and are allowed to drive on public roads.

Evolution in robotics

Robots and artificial intelligence have evolved over the years. Warehouses and manufacturing operations continue to find new automation systems to improve their systems.

1961; First true robot was introduced in a US die-cutting operation

1981; Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm SCARA was introduced in Japan, it increased the speed and agility of robots

1996; Rapid development of AI in robotics occurred when a computer, ‘Deep Blue’ lost to a world chess champion

2000; A revolutionary humanoid robot was introduced

2011; Apple introduced SIRI that stimulated rapid virtual reality development

2018; first autonomous delivery service was launched in the UK

What are delivery robots?

An automated robot that takes delivery goods to your doorsteps is called a delivery robot. Following initial hype flying drones for delivery, land-based delivery robots are recently at the center of attention. Since these robots need to share space with other transport devices or people, their primary areas of action are suburbs and areas with comparatively little traffic.

The delivery robots in these areas have a strategic advantage over other delivery modes. For the customer, the aspect that robot delivery offers a standard delivery window of 15-20 minutes is additional convenience, which is much more accurate when compared with conventional delivery methods.

drone delivery

Applications of robots in delivering goods

Currently, the most important fields of business using delivery robots include consumable products such as food and flowers, but can also be used in retail and stock industries and automated warehouse systems.

Starship Technologies, a San Francisco-based company, provides the main example of delivery robots in motion.

The delivery robots can navigate independently on streets and sidewalks. They are designed to provide customers and companies with secure and sturdy on-demand package delivery.

How delivery robots deliver goods?

The delivery robots look like boxes on a wheel, weighing approximately 25kg. They can carry a load of about 9kg, and travel at a maximum of 4 mph. The delivery robot uses many of the same features as an automobile: 360-degree vision cameras, ultrasonic sensors, GPS navigation systems, measuring devices, and more. Their cost for production is over $5000.

The delivery robots can navigate to the address once they obtain the location for delivery. The built-in sensors enable robots to detect and maneuver around pedestrians, cars, and other obstacles.

robot delivery fedex

Companies using robots for deliveries

Delivery robots are setting new trends in the industry, some world-renowned companies that are using delivery robots in their delivery operations are Eliport, FedEx, Starship, AutoX, Amazon, Postmates Serve, Robomart, and Nuro. Also, Tesco and other local grocery and food businesses use delivery robots to attract more customers.

How robot deliveries are better?

A growing number of large multinational corporations and startups are competing to build robotic mobile units capable of autonomously delivering small items, mail, or groceries. The major end-user of autonomous delivery robots in the world is retail and logistics.

According to the National Retail Federation, shipping mishaps resulted in losses of about USD 333 million. According to a recent McKinsey survey, autonomous robots equipped with parcel lockers and drones could handle up to 80% of last-mile deliveries by 2030.

According to the company’s estimates, autonomous robots could save 40% over manual last-mile deliveries, particularly in rural and low-population areas.