In a scenario of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote-controlled robots are deployed this week in Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city, to make home deliveries, mainly food.
The pilot project is operated jointly by Colombian startup Rappi and U.S.-based KiwiBot to avoid physical or direct contact between people, reducing the risk of contagion of the new coronavirus, with disinfected robotic equipment.
During testing, robotic delivery for users of the service is carried out randomly, and all orders are paid online. Delivery is carried out by 15 Rappi robots, which on average, process up to 120 orders daily. The company said that the robots are sanitized before and after each delivery of the order.
Four-wheel robots are equipped with on-board sensors and built-in HD cameras that help them navigate in space and avoid collisions with any obstacles and people. The robot can move on various sidewalks and adjust its path in real-time. It can also detect when they can or cannot cross the street, among other functions. Rappi Robots can be used to deliver home orders for food, medicine, and various items, supporting up to 8 kg of weight.
It should be noted that orders are requested by customers through phone calls or through the web. Rappi plans to implement the pilot program until July, and in the future, to expand the project to other cities where it has a presence.