New Delhi: Amazon and Walmart are now opting for drones to make package deliveries. So why should homegrown e-commerce firm ‘Snapdeal’ stay behind in innovations. ‘Snapdeal’ has turned to robots to make last-mile deliveries to customers to ensure contactless deliveries. Snapdeal is making the robots with autonomous mobility start-up ‘Ottonomy IO’. The initial results have been quite successful. Snapdeal has successfully tested last-mile delivery using robots in select locations of Delhi-NCR.
“The delivery robots were stationed at the entrance of residential societies. The delivery agent scanned a QR code and placed the package in the holder with the robot. Equipped with the society’s map, the robot navigated to reach the consumer,” Snapdeal said in a statement.
“The orders placed by users were delivered in the last mile by a robot with the package sanitised on the way. The contactless delivery of a sanitised packet is an initiative by the firms. It is to make e-commerce deliveries safer for its users,” the Snapdeal statement added.
‘Ottonomy IO’ has developed delivery robots for autonomous last-mile and local deliveries. The robots can run along sidewalks and local streets autonomously to deliver orders to nearby homes. It uses specialised artificial intelligence algorithms to navigate crowded areas. These robots use machine learning. They fuse data from 3D Lidar and cameras to have a robust understanding of the external world, the statement said.
Recently, Walmart has announced its partnership with Zipline to launch a delivery service of select health and wellness products in the US. It has also announced a pilot project for delivery of grocery and household products through automated drones. Amazon has similar plans for making deliveries using drones.
Snapdeal said the robots navigate to reach the consumer as they are programmed with the layout of the delivery areas. Once the delivery robot arrives at 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.