Postmates is a food delivery app and service owned by Uber. Its Serve robot is designed for safe, autonomous navigation on urban sidewalks. Serve navigates using Lidar and communicates with customers through an interactive touchscreen. Serve bots are all-electric with a 50-pound capacity. Serve’s initial launch has been in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Starship Technologies offers autonomous robots for stores, restaurants, and campuses. Starship robots can carry items within a 4-mile radius. Starship’s robots weigh no more than 100 pounds, move at pedestrian speed, and navigate around objects and people. The cargo bay is mechanically locked throughout the journey and can be opened only by the recipient with their smartphone app. The location of the robots is tracked, so customers know exactly the location of an order and receive a notification at the time of arrival. Services have been launched for Arizona State University, University of Wisconsin, Modesto (California), and Northampton (U.K.).
TeleRetail is a Swiss start-up developing Aito autopilot software and delivery vehicles, such as its Pulse 1, for automated urban, suburban, and rural logistics. The small Pulse 1 minimizes the energy and space requirements of local logistics while avoiding harmful emissions. The solar-powered Range+ version covers almost unlimited distances. TeleRetail’s main objective is to help main street shops and small businesses offer the same level of convenience as ecommerce giants such as Amazon. TeleRetail has been financed, in part, by grants, including million from the European Space Agency.