The future of deliveries may involve the use of drones zooming above pedestrians and traffic. Google X hopes to launch drone deliveries by 2017. The company’s “Project Wing” promises to deliver items via drones anywhere in a 5-mile radius within 5 minutes.
The future of deliveries may also involve small robot vehicles that travel on sidewalks. This is the vision of Starship Technologies, a London based startup. Starship Technologies says the 40-pound robot could make local deliveries in 30 minutes or less. The technology could be useful for neighbourhood restaurants and retailers. Because the robot is largely automated, requiring almost no human involvement, Starship Technologies thinks the costs of delivering goods will drop by an order of magnitude. The slow speed and grounded approach also removes some of the safety concerns with drone delivery.
Dispatch is another organization with a vision of making robotic deliveries. Unlike Starship Technologies, Dispatch is targeting university campuses with hopes of scaling into other private locales.
Yet another company with a similar delivery robot vision is SIDEWALK. The company claims its robots can provide “instant (±15 min)” first/last-mile city delivery service of packages weighing up to 20 kg.