Academy of Robotics expands automated delivery vehicle trial

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British autonomous delivery start-up Academy of Robotics is expanding its Kar-go delivery bot programme into Surrey this month.

Following a successful trial in Hounslow, London last November the automated delivery vehicle, which uses AI to navigate, will supporting a range of small local businesses in the southern English county by making deliveries from shops to residential addresses.

According to the Academy of Robotics, Kar-go is able to make deliveries in both urban environments and in more rural and suburban areas.

William Sachiti, CEO of Academy of Robotics, said: “All too often new technology benefits only those living in cities and people living in more remote or suburban areas are left out.

“As a company founded in rural Aberystwyth, we were very conscious of this issue so we designed our AI to work where it could deliver the greatest benefit.

“So, the first areas we are rolling this out to are typical British suburban locations like Surrey.”

At the start of the year, Kar-Go scanned proposed delivery routes in Surrey and confirmed that semi-autonomous deliveries are possible due to its AI that has been designed with multiple fail-safe layers.

Furthermore, to meet current regulations for testing automated vehicles, there will be a safety driver in the vehicle at all times and the team will gradually increase the degree of autonomy used as the trials progress.

Sachiti added: “What makes Kar-go magical for me is that we applied artificial intelligence and robotics in a useful but good way: the technology is there when it is needed and out of the way when it isn’t.

“Unlike many iterations of artificial intelligence systems on the internet today that want something from you or want to keep you in some app or drive you to make buying decisions, we don’t.”

Further trial locations are planned for the spring.

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