The REV-1, a delivery robot that can work in bad weather

Low-cost, Lightweight Robots Navigate in the Bike Lane
Low-cost, Lightweight Robots Navigate in the Bike Lane

These days, we keep hearing about robots every day. Now a new autonomous delivery robot company came out with its robot called “REV-1”. The company founded by University of Michigan professors Matthew Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan launched their new robot at TechCrunch Mobility on Wednesday.

REV-1 is a low-cost, lightweight autonomous delivery robot that can operate in a bike lane and on the roadway. The robot is designed to travel in any weathers like rain or snow.

Refraction’s first self-driving delivery robot scales at about 100 pounds and can reach a speed of up to 15 mph, which is not particularly fast but as it is designed for a bike lane, it doesn’t need to be. The robot is approximately the size of an electric bicycle with three wheels and stands 5 feet tall, 4.5 feet long and 30 inches wide. The storage compartment offers 16 cubic feet of space which are enough for around four or five grocery bags, according to the company.

Its storage compartment offers 16 cubic feet of space
Its storage compartment offers 16 cubic feet of space

Like other similar machines, when the autonomous delivery robot arrives at its destination, the recipients will be able to unlock the storage box by entering a code into the robot’s keypad.

REV-1 uses a system of 12 cameras as its primary sensor system, along with radar and ultrasound sensors for additional safety. The entire system costs just a fraction of one LiDAR used in other systems.

Skipping the more expensive lidar technology enables it to keep costs down and price the Rev-1 at $5,000.

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Our vehicle’s low curb weight at low speeds makes deployment safer than other autonomous vehicles. For example, we have a 5-foot stopping distance, compared to the typical 45-foot stopping distance that a full-sized vehicle at the same speed would need to avoid an accident,” continued Johnson-Roberson.

Finally, our design and technical choices, particularly relying on cameras over HD-LIDAR, allow us to operate a more economical platform that gives us a significant competitive advantage on cost efficiency.”

The company says REV-1’s first test application is with local restaurant partners, with the hope to lock in bigger national partnerships in the next six months.