16 Sep 2020: Snapdeal starts testing robots for order deliveries: Details here
The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly a million around the world, has made contact-less technology the need of the hour - across several sectors and roles.
Here's all you need to know about it.
Partnership: Partnership with Ottonomy IO
Snapdeal has partnered with homegrown autonomous mobility company Ottonomy IO for robot-based delivery.
Ottonomy has built four-wheeled rovers that are nearly as big as a mini cooler and capable of rolling on the streets to make seamless deliveries to customers.
The machines are easily fed with a map, following which they use cameras and LiDAR to navigate safely to the customers' location.
Test: Test successful in Delhi's residential complexes
According to a statement from Snapdeal, Ottonomy's robots have been successful in an early test conducted across select residential complexes in Delhi.
"The delivery robots were stationed at the entrance of residential societies, wherein the delivery agent scanned a QR code and placed the package inside" to let the robots finish the job.
The packages were also sanitized while on the way to customers.
Fact: Robotic delivery is part of evolving future of logistics: Snapdeal
In a statement, a Snapdeal spokesperson said, "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."
Implementation: However, the system will not be implemented anytime soon
That being said, even though trials of autonomous robot deliveries have begun, you will not see these bots working on a large scale anytime soon.
People familiar with the project's progress told The Economic Times that these robotic deliveries would become a reality only after two years.
After that, labor costs will come down and deliveries will be made more quickly.
Other Players: Other players are also testing robotic delivery
Along with Snapdeal, several other players in the Indian market are also exploring robot-based deliveries.
Dunzo, Swiggy, and Zomato are looking at the idea of rapid drone-based deliveries, something that would take packages from one part of the city to another in a matter of minutes.
Meanwhile, Amazon is also aggressively testing robots across several segments, starting from warehouse tasks to home deliveries.