Us humans are an impatient bunch, we want things to be quicker, more efficient and slot in around our busy lives. If you order something online we want it delivered yesterday, unless it’s food then we want it immediately and hot, not lukewarm, not stone cold but scald the roof of your mouth piping hot.
The latest on the streets is the delivery robot, this isn’t exactly new but is being trialled by large company’s. Don’t be alarmed if a robot turns up on your doorstep delivering your online shopping or takeaway. How else will companies be able to keep up with the demands of their consumers without costing them extra money in man power?
Just Eat teamed up with Starship Technologies to trial these robots in London using them in place of takeaway delivery drivers. These little bots can travel at 4 mph for 10 miles, uses GPS and cameras to get around so in theory they won’t get lost or need to ask for directions.
More recently, also working with Starship Technologies was Tesco who trialled this very robot which can hold up to 3 shopping bags and will still work in 20cm of snow. Considering how our public transport grinds to a halt at the hint of a snowflake that is impressive.
Don’t worry about potential thief’s.. ‘Earlier tests found people who tried to break in by jumping on it ended up with it trapped on their leg’, that’s one way to stop a chancer. Customers can access their shopping by typing in a pin and voila access to your shopping.
Future of delivery jobs
This can be a cause for concern for some delivery driver if these mini bundles of circuitry takes off. There will be companies who will find monetary value in using robots for small deliveries, they can only carry up 10 kg or three shopping bags and cheaper to employ.
‘…is cheaper than the average human delivery, costing £1 to transport within a 3 mile radius, compared with the £3 to £6 it costs for a human courier’
There is also the lack of human contact. We do like to complain especially if we can get something out of it, that won’t happen with a delivery bot. These robots will remove that human element of being able to complain to the delivery driver when your delivery is late, items are missing or your food is cold! Where is the satisfaction in that?
Off to customer service you go to vent, until to you discover the person on the other end of the phone has been replaced with a chatbot!
Lets look at the pros and cons before we decide to vilify the deliver bot ;
- They are efficient, the aim of Start Technologies is to have about 100 robots that would need one person to step in and take over if they needed to
- Can make short distance deliveries
- They are secure
- Won’t get stuck in traffic
- No more friendly delivery driver until you yell at them then they are no longer your friend
- Loss of jobs
- What happens if they break down on route, malfunction or get lost?
So, what do think, fancy a relative of R2D2 turning up on your doorstep?