The prototype can carry packages weighing up to 30 kilograms, and travel at a speed of 6 kilometers per hour, slightly faster than walking pace. Built-in cameras and sensors enable the robot to wait at red lights and avoid pedestrians and cars. The ongoing trials aim to determine if the robot can be safely operated using a remote monitoring system.
Electronics giant Panasonic has also joined the self-delivery race and is tapping into its immense resources to get a leg up. The company is currently testing a robot on the streets of its Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town facility located outside of Tokyo. The robot is designed to be able to make several stops, picking up and delivering groceries at a number of stores and homes on a particular route. Panasonic says it also hopes to use big data to make the robot responsive to individual customer needs.