Snapdeal on Tuesday informed that it, along with autonomous mobility startup Ottonomy IO, has successfully conducted testing of robots which may be used for last-like delivery. Underlining the need for contact-less delivery in current times of Covid-19, the e-commerce site said it is committed to delivering items to customers in the safest manner possible.
Snapdeal currently uses a number of transport options to fulfill last-mile delivery objectives. The vans, bikes and cycles won't exactly be replaced by robots which, the company informs, would rather play a complimentary role. These robots will sanitize the package using ultraviolet lighting en route customer's given location.
Interestingly, these robots can reportedly navigate sidewalks and local streets autonomously and without the need for human input or intervention. Making use of specialized AI algorithms to give it precision when navigating crowded spaces, the robots make use of machine learning, fuse data from 3D Lidar and cameras to better understand the complexities of the real and physical world.
The robots may not require human input but these can be remotely monitored and even controlled if and when such an input is deemed necessary. Once these reach the intended location, the customer receives an alert and using a unique QR code, the hold area of the robot can be accessed by the customer to receive his or her package.
Snapdeal says the tests were conducted in select locations in Delhi NCR where the robots were stationed at the entrance of residential societies. The delivery agent placed the package in the robot's hold area using a QR code before allowing it to navigate to the intended location within the housing society.
E-commerce platforms are increasingly eyeing alternate ways of reaching out to customers in a fast and reliable manner. Companies like Amazon and Walmart are experimenting with drones to further quicken the pace of delivery while Snapdeal now is on the cusp of safer options. "We are investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop future-oriented capabilities," said a Snapdeal spokesperson. "Contact-less delivery via robotic vehicles is a step in building a safer and convenient future for shoppers."