While people worldwide were talking about self-driving cars becoming a reality, the trend of delivery robots kicked in. In 2020, the global delivery robot market was worth $3.53 billion. By 2030, this market is projected to reach $30.05 billion, which is a CAGR of 24.5%.
These autonomous delivery robots bring products to the customers’ doorstep without any human intervention in the entire process. Such robots can navigate around people and public spaces safely. The growth in the e-commerce industry has increased the demand for a better and efficient means to deliver products to customers.
Furthermore, it increased during the pandemic when there was increased demand for contactless delivery of products. Here, at TFN today we have listed some fascinating autonomous delivery robots delivering groceries and other things to people’s doorsteps worldwide.
Founders: Jiajun Zhu, Dave Ferguson
Founded year: 2016
Nuro operates with the mission to improve everyday life with robotics. Its custom electric autonomous vehicles, such as R2 without pedals and steering wheel, deliver fresh produce to prescriptions right to users’ doorsteps. Its robots are convenient, eco-friendly, and safe alternatives to driving, thereby making streets safer. Nuro has brought autonomous delivery to local communities in Texas, Arizona, and California.
The self-driving delivery company Nuro secured $500 million in 2020 led by T. Rowe Price Associates and new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC. and Baillie Gifford and repeat investors SoftBank and Greylock.
Amazon Scout (US)
Founders: Jeff Bezos
Founded year: 2019
The e-commerce giant Amazon came up with Scout robot to deliver goods. The company has been spending years on drone deliveries and now Scout is taking to the sidewalks and streets.
Amazon Scout is a six-wheeled delivery robot, which delivers packages to Amazon customers in Washington and California. Amazon acquired the robotics company Dispatch to build the robot.
Amazon Scout robots are fully electric and part of the company’s move to be net-zero carbon emission by 2040. Integration of Scout adds to the company’s automation in delivery infrastructure.
Starship Technologies (Estonia)
Founders: Ahti Heinla, Janus Friis
Founded year: 2014
Founded in Estonia and headquartered in California, Starship Technologies deploys autonomous robots to deliver packages within a short distance of two or three miles. The feet of self-driving delivery robots can deliver foods within 30 minutes. Starship Technologies has revolutionised the food and package deliveries with these delivery robots and offers convenient services to people.
Recently, Starship partnered with Los Angeles-based Coco, a delivery robot startup to build 1,000 partially automated sidewalk robots. These robots will be deployed in Los Angeles and a couple of other US cities in the first quarter of 2022.
Founders: Dmitry Skorinko, Patrick Synge
Founded year: 2017
Another robotics startup, which intends to solve the last-mile logistics problems with robotics solutions is Eliport. It has a fleet of ground-based delivery robots that travel on pavements and pedestrian zones at walking speeds to deliver goods to homes and offices.
Eliport stands out from the rest in the autonomous delivery robot segment because these robots can be loaded without human involvement. Also, it is a cost-effective and reliable delivery service suitable for both urban and suburban areas.
Serve Robotics (US)
Founders: Ali Kashani, Dmitry Demeshchuk
Founded year: 2021
Acquired by Uber last year, Serve Robotics (formerly Postmates) is designed to look like a futuristic shopping cart complete with circular LED lights that can double as eyes. Serve robots are four-wheeled electric delivery vehicles that can go on sidewalks. These robots use a top-mounted Lidar sensor that can map their surroundings and navigate near pedestrians and sidewalks. Serve robots feature a touchscreen display to communicate with customers and can carry 50 lbs capacity.
Serve Robotics bagged $13 million in a seed funding round led by Uber Technologies, Delivery Hero, and other investors a few days back. The investment will be used to accelerate the scaling of its robotic platform, drive continued product development, and support geographic expansion.
Founders: Ali Ahmed, Emad Suhail Rahim, Tigran Shahverdyan
Founded year: 2017
Operating in a similar way as Nuro, Robomart‘s autonomous electric vehicles are designed to drive safely on the roads. These self-driving robots can open the sliding doors for customers to pick the fresh produce from their shelves. The checkout process can be carried out automatically via the smartphone app, thereby making it the world’s first store-hailing platform.
Robomart was trialled last year as a mobile pharmacy offering 500 packs of 50 products, including toiletries, household, over-the-counter meds, and kitchen supplies, among others. The firm has already got backing from SOSV, Hustle Fund, HAX, Wasabi Ventures, Archetype and Automation Fund.
Founders: Torsten Scholl, Xenia Scholl
Founded year: 2014
A Swiss company, TeleRetail develops autopilot software for self-driving transport vehicles. It has also built a prototype of a personal delivery device, which can cover long distances of a maximum of 50 miles. It can deliver packages in the cities, rural and suburban markets. The robot uses a virtual map for navigation and can be opened with a smartphone.
Founders: Jianxiong Xiao
Founded year: 2016
Headquartered in California and Hong Kong, AutoX started with grocery delivery trials in 2017. Unlike other startups seen above, this company uses cars that feature modified back seats to store chilled food. These can be accessed through open windows.
Since its debut, AutoX has been expanding its Robotaxi service to serve more people. It offers a mobile application through which users can order groceries and get them delivered to their doorstep through its customised Lincoln MKZ car equipped with AutoX’s self-driving system.