Lockdown and the subsequent movement restrictions have led many people to use online shopping more than ever before. Consumers have traditionally chosen e-commerce for buying electronics or clothes but now they seem to rely more and more on online shopping for being supplied with groceries.
Robots, autonomous vehicles to be precise, are here to assist in this everyday task. They are in charge of delivering the goods to households rendering fully contactless shopping a reality.
The beginning of such a venture was made in Milton Keynes, UK where eight Co-op stores have already used the autonomous vehicles in partnership with Starship Technologies. This initiative is now expanded and will now serve about 5,000 households in Northampton, UK with contactless deliveries. The people in charge of the supermarket have noticed a noteworthy increase on online ordering by people who have never used the web for buying groceries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic demand for the service had tripled in Milton Keynes in recent months.
The robots will travel 5 km to customers’ homes to deliver the shopping.
The specifics of the robots can be concluded as follows:
- They have the ability to travel along sidewalks and cross streets
- They are equipped with 10 cameras, ultrasound sensors, radar, and GPS
- They are able to see 360 degrees and have a “situational awareness bubble” around them to detect and avoid any obstacles.
- They use sophisticated computer vision and software to identify objects such as cars, pedestrians, traffic lights and sidewalks.
For sure, 2020 was a year of drastic changes in ecommerce.