Droids — not drones — might be the future of e-commerce deliveries

by:CTECHi     2020-03-21
Under the shadow of Greenwich 02 Arena
The futuristic dome was originally built as a showcase for the London Millennium.
It looks like a picnic cooler on a wheel buzzing among a group of dumbfounded kids.
This small delivery robot, designed for self-driving sidewalks rather than roads, will start shipping directly to customers from local businesses this year.
By doing so, it may conquer e-commerce.
The ultimate frontier of business: The Last Mile, the most inefficient and problematic step in the delivery process.
\"30-40% of the cost of delivery comes from the last mile,\" said Alan Martinson, chief operating officer of Starship Technologies, the company that built the robot.
The project was the idea of Ahti Heinla, one of Skype\'s original developers, and supported by billionaire Skype
Janus Friis, founder and technology investor.
Small delivery robots are designed by StarCraft and American competitors. S.
Startup is called scheduling.
These chaotic robots are the most powerful force against technology.
Amazon, like Wal-Mart, is testing airborne dronesWalmart and Google
Google also seeks patents for a driverless truck that will carry a range of lockers that can be unlocked via text messages.
Uber is deploying drivers for food delivery services, a concept that could be extended to other products.
Don\'t forget the on-the-job staff from FedEx and UPS to the government postal service.
While Starcraft robots may be the first to go public, victory is not guaranteed.
Due to the limited economic vitality of urban areas, the economic development of these areas is limited.
The drone tag is more expensive and the regulatory barrier is greater, but it may be cheaper on each dronemile basis.
Some logistics experts say humans still have an advantage over any technology in the foreseeable future.
Fi inspires competitors.
Heinra, a tall, gaunt Estonian, with a messy blonde hair and an engineer\'s messy appearance, said the delivery robot had their advantage.
Smaller robots are easier and cheaper to make.
Because StarCraft robots weigh less than 35 pounds and travel slowly, they are less likely to cause damage.
As a wheeled vehicle, there is no rotating rotor blade that can cause damageunlike drones.
Most importantly, it is driving on the sidewalk, not on the road, which simplifies the approval of the regulatory authorities.
StarCraft robots have traveled more than 1,900 miles in the United States. K.
Germany, Belgium, Estonia and the United States. S.
It is planned to travel more than 50,000 miles this year.
In contrast, the drone is undergoing a height test.
Control the environment and commercial delivery is suspended until the regulator addresses security, liability, aviation rights and privacy issues.
So far, driverless cars have only allowed limited testing on public roads.
\"We have tested it in snow, snow mud, ice and rain-you can name it,\" Martinson said . \". In the U. S.
The starship is testing its robot in Fayetteville, Arkansas, about 35 miles from Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart\'s Bentonville headquarters and an innovation lab at the University of Arkansas, named after the Wal-Mart family
Walmart CEO McMillon
This has led to speculation that the large retailer may be interested in the small robot. Wal-
The FOMC lab at Mart, the internal department investigating various disruptive technologies, said it was monitoring the test plan.
StarCraft will not comment on possible cooperationup with Wal-Mart.
But Martinson said he wanted the first one.
Later this year, commercial customers will start using these robots. San Francisco-
Headquartered in Dispatch, founded by former computer scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, and backed by Silicon Valley venture company Anderson Horowitz, is also testing its own ground drone, Carry.
Gur Kimchi, an Amazon executive in charge of the Prime Air drone project, said they also considered delivery robots and driverless trucks.
But Amazon thinks drones are better.
\"Other options cannot guarantee very fast, very economical and very safe delivery,\" he said . \".
He says drones can serve rural, suburban and even urban environments, while delivery robots work best in urban areas only.
Self-driving trucks or delivery drivers will only add to the already congested roads, he said.
Amazon\'s drone, which can carry up to 5 pounds miles per hour at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, will ship between 80% and 90%, Kimchi said.
\"This is a very large subset of what we have chosen,\" he said . \".
Analyst Tasha Keeney estimated in an analysis by ARK Invest, an investment research firm in May 2015, by using drones, amazon can reduce its delivery costs to 10 cents per pack or mile.
To ensure safety, drones have the technology of \"perception and avoidance\" that can avoid obstacles or potential hazards, even family dogs.
\"If a drone cannot be delivered safely, it will be programmed to abort and fly home,\" Kimchis said . \".
Without a clear regulatory framework, Amazon would not be able to start using its drones commercially.
Therefore, the company proposes to retain airspace between 200 and 400 feet for autonomous drones with complex collision avoidance and security functions, while reducing
The technology spacecraft is limited to airspace below 200 feet, which is about 18-story building.
The flying plane will stay above 500 feet of the height of the Washington Monument.
So far, this regulation does not exist anywhere, and anyone can guess how long it may take.
\"I\'m usually impatient and want to get into the market,\" Kimchi said . \" He added that he believes the regulatory framework will be in place \"in less than 10 years.
\"This uncertainty is why Burton White, consultant at Atlanta Chain Home Analytics-
Retailers should wait for adjustments, logistics advisers say.
\"It\'s still the Wild West,\" he said . \"
\"Automation and drones are the things you need to focus on, but they are farther away from you.
\"Because population density is the biggest factor in determining the cost of the last mile, there may not be a solution.
In densely populated cities, Bicycle Express networks may be the best option, while in rural areas, drones may be the most efficient, White said.
The star ship says its ideal delivery area is not a densely populated city like New York or London, with more than 5,000 families per square mile.
However, many suburbs and small cities, such as London or Copenhagen, are in the target area of StarCraft.
Heinra has always been interested in robots and even participated in a game at NASA to create a robot that can bring back soil samples from the Mars mission.
But in 2014, heinra was at the last mile of Eureka.
\"I know technically it is possible to make a small robot that is still fast enough, and you don\'t need a large vehicle to do the work done by a large vehicle today,\" he said.
Because small robots are less expensive to make than trucks or drones, Starship expects to be able to provide them to local shopkeepers on a rental basis-essentially \"Robots \"--delivery-as-a-
Service, \"said Martin Son, chief operating officer.
The target delivery cost for each delivery is between 1 and 3 ($1 ). 40 to $4.
20) robots will allow these businesses that are often excluded from e-commerce
He said that through business activities with high delivery costs, online sales began.
He said that if arobot delivers only 15 shipments a day, its business could break even.
Starship\'s prototype design will provide up to 20 pounds of cargo, traveling 4 miles per hour.
\"Its design is basically equivalent to three goods.
\"A big bag of groceries,\" says Martinson.
In addition, since the robot has a simple cargo hold, the customer can use the robot to return the item to the retailer.
The electronic lock protects the safety of the goods in transit, while the robot\'s ability to transmit location and real-time video information from the camera is designed to prevent thieves.
The company plans to complete the delivery within three months of the robot
Miles radius of the central logistics hub using 3g GPS signal navigation.
Flying with nine cameras
The eye view of its environment and sensors helps to avoid roots, toddlers and dog poop.
Humans can drive remotely if robots are in trouble.
With the current battery design, this small robot can run continuously for more than two hours before it needs to be charged or replaced with a new battery pack.
Martin Sen said the company chose a relatively low
Capacity battery can save weight but may consider longerlife one later.
In the trials to date, Martinson estimates that the spacecraft\'s robots have met about 120,000 pedestrians, including thousands of children.
No one has tried to abuse it so far.
\"The children are curious, but they like it,\" he said . \"Starship co-
Founder Friis says people of all ages seem to greet the little machine with awe.
\"It\'s really great, but people seem to have instant emotional connections with robots,\" he said . \".
Emotional connection is just trying to pass on with a drone.
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