Remote-controlled grocery delivery robot launched in USA

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A remote-controlled grocery delivery robot has launched in the USA.

Co-developed by Self Point, an end-to-end digital commerce solution provider, and Tortoise, a remote-controlled home delivery company, the robot is designed to offer a safe and affordable way for people to receive their groceries.

It combines Self Point’s digital commerce software platform, which offers a contactless delivery option for local grocers and enables them to build and manage their own inventory and leverage advanced fulfilment methods online, with Tortoise’s remote-controlled cart, which is driven by trained tele-operators and can deliver to addresses within three miles of a store.

Use of teleoperators could make city and local governments more amenable to Tortoise robots operating on public pavements

Orlee Tal, CEO of Self Point, said: “We expect this partnership to lay the groundwork for the future of local grocery online shopping and delivery, allowing neighbourhood retailers to meet growing demands, increase margins on e-commerce orders, and provide the most eco-friendly, and cost-effective solution available today.”

The robot’s ‘pick-up truck’ design, which grocers can brand, features modular containers for cold and heat storage and carries over 100 lb of goods. Once the cart arrives at the desired location, the operator unlocks the container and notifies both the customer and the store of the completed delivery.

Tortoise said it believes the tele-operation aspect of its electric delivery cart, which travels at speeds of up to 7mph, could help the solution get to market faster than fully autonomous products due to avoiding some of the hesitations local US governments have with the safety of self-driving robots on city pavements.

Dmitry Shevelenko, president of Tortoise, added: “Self Point’s platform enables us to reach many local grocers, and we are thrilled to offer a safe, affordable and truly innovative way for people to receive their groceries.”

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