An Estonian start-up has unveiled a prototype for a robot courier which aims to fully automate the last mile.
The self-driving robot will be able to ferry a package from a local distribution centre and place them in a personal parcel locker at a customer’s home.
This will then trigger a notification for the customer to tell them that they can collect their parcel from the locker whenever they wish.
Cleveron, which counts Walmart and Inditex as clients, plans to begin pilots of the courier in Estonia in 2020.
“The goal behind the creation of the robot courier is the same as for all other Cleveron’s products – to save time for everyone,” the company said in a statement.
“Cleveron’s future robot courier enables the e-commerce or logistics companies to automate their last mile delivery processes, helping to lover the costs. It also offers the chance to provide a delivery service with utmost convenience for their customers since they do not have to spend time waiting for the courier.”
The company’s personal parcel lockers, which will form an integral part of the robot delivery network, are currently being piloted in Estonia. It has also run trials of drone delivery, which Amazon has been experimenting with in Belgium.
Its flagship solution, the Cleveron 401, allows customers to both collect and return parcels. In 2018 it launched a pilot with UK retailer Asda in Manchester.
Cleveron did not specify what the commercial model for the robot delivery service would be. Possibilities include the consumer signing up via a subscription model or, more likely, the capability being offered directly at the check-out in partnership with retailers.