India’s leading E-commerce marketplace 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 sanitized on the way. The contactless delivery of a sanitized packet is an initiative by the firms to make eCommerce deliveries safer for its users.
Ottonomy IO has developed delivery robots for autonomous last-mile and local deliveries. 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 holding 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.
Ottonomy IO conducted eCommerce delivery experiments with Snapdeal 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 eCommerce.
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.
“Contactless delivery is a need of the hour to ensure shopper safety and enhanced experience. Automating the last-mile delivery process and clubbing it with contactless interaction helps address safety concerns of both shoppers and delivery professionals,” Ritukar Vijay, Co-founder, Ottonomy IO said.
“With an extensive experience of the team Ottonomy IO around robotics and autonomous vehicles, we’re confident that this technology will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of eCommerce deliveries. And following the success of the experiment, we look forward to scaling it globally,” he added.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, the contactless robot delivery initiative addresses consumers’ concerns around the safe delivery of online purchases.