- Yandex, the company behind Russia’s biggest search engine, announced Friday that it’s bringing out autonomous food delivery robots.
- The robots are currently just being trialled at Yandex HQ, but the company’s hope is to integrate them into its food-delivery platforms.
- The food-delivery space is becoming more crowded, with players like Amazon and Starship Technologies having introduced their own self-driving delivery robots.
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Russian search engine giant Yandex said in a Medium post that it has retooled the self-driving technology from its autonomous vehicle research to build “Rover,” a little six-wheeled delivery robot the size of a briefcase. The company has apparently been testing the robot on its Moscow campus.
“We are first using Rover with Yandex team members to ensure our delivery robot is as safe, reliable, and user-friendly as possible,” the post says.
Rover can travel up to a speed of 5km per hour.
You can watch Rover pootling about here:
While Rover is able to navigate by itself, it has a remote operator monitoring its progress.
“In the future, we envision Yandex.Rover automating last-mile delivery for millions of Yandex users, presenting an efficient and economical way to deliver goods from relevant services throughout our ecosystem,” the company said, although it was not specific as to when people could expect to see Rover out and about in the wild.
Yandex said it plans to integrate the robots with its food-delivery app Yandex.Eats and grocery-delivery platform Yandex.Lavka.
The six-wheeled robots bear a resemblance to both those built by Estonian-based startup Starship Technologies — which currently operates on three US university campuses and is looking to expand to 100 in the next two years — and Amazon’s Scout robot, which was unveiled in January this year.