Snapdeal tests last-mile contactless delivery using robots

E-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, on Tuesday, said it had successfully conducted last-mile contactless delivery of products using robots in partnership with autonomous mobility startup Ottonomy IO as part of an experiment across select locations of Delhi NCR.

Ottonomy IO has developed robots that can run along sidewalks and local streets autonomously to deliver orders to nearby homes. The robots use specialized AI algorithms to navigate crowded areas. Furthermore, the cameras helped the robots to have a robust understanding of the external world.

The robot which is programmed with the layout of the delivery areas navigates its way to reach the consumer. Upon reaching the doorstep, the customer receives an alert. Through a unique QR code sent to the user, the hold 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.

These robots are also equipped with ultraviolet lighting to disinfect the packet while navigating to the delivery location keeping in mind the virus scare.

“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 the safety concerns of both shoppers and delivery professionals. 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 e-commerce deliveries. And following the success of the experiment, we look forward to scaling it globally.”

~ Ritukar Vijay, Co-founder, Ottonomy IO

Amd the outbreak of the coronavirus, contactless delivery has been the new normal as the consumers safety and health concerns keep in check. These contactless robot delivery initiative addresses the same.

Recently, Snapdeal, in a bid to prepare for the upcoming festive season, has launched eight new logistics centres to its network across manufacturing hubs, including Mathura, Noida and Mumbai.

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