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Hermes: Small delivery robots rolling on the streets of Hamburg

It’s getting serious: small robots rolling on the streets of Hamburg and Düsseldorf. Their mission: Deliver packages. Only question is whether the customers with this futuristic service deal.

Some weeks ago, the electronics chain had announced media market soon to send a rolling delivery robot in Düsseldorf. This is to pass orders of customers within a radius of up to 5 km at the front door. Now part of the Otto Group, shipper Hermes presses forward with a pilot project in Hamburg. In Langenhorn and Ottensen, as well as in the Grindel high-rise district three the rolling small vehicles to bring in August ordered goods by selected package stores to more than 100 test customers.

According to the motto: barely ordered and already there.

After half an hour of the customer to accept anything at the front door his shoes or CDs and who knows? The request packet must not be only weighing more than 10 kg. Because the small robot cart can not haul more. So that the customer can open the boxes in the vehicles, he receives an SMS with an individual code. And possible thieves should immediately be beaten in flight with an alarm, which immediately goes on a violent opening.

Without people incidents yet

The robot boxes developed by the Estonian company of starship technologies are on six wheels on the road and drive at a speed of 6 km/h. The authorities have to approve their use on sidewalks. With built-in cameras and sensors, the automated delivery to find his way, circumnavigate billiards with pedestrians or lanterns. In addition, a staff in a Hermes headquarters monitors the given infrastructure. It did not come to accidents according to the developer company starship in the entire trial period at around 400,000 encounters. the robot already drove 8,000 km.

 Herbert Kotzab logistics expert
Herbert Kotzab logistics expert

Revolutionary in urban areas

High hopes are set to the new package delivery person. “The use of robots can revolutionize sustainable delivery of parcels and packages especially in urban areas,” Hermes said Germany-chef Frank Rausch of the German press agency (dpa). Such an offer of service could be used in an ageing society also for delivering medication or food. Fast delivery with robots to save costs for the provider in turn.

Package drones and robots are as suitable for everyday use?

As well, the robot actually arrive at the customers, remains to be seen. According to polls, the cart are certainly more popular than package drones, experiment with which the Internet giant Amazon and Deutsche Post. When drones, many people including the fear that they crash or spying one.

Herbert Kotzab logistics expert from the University of Bremen

On the rolling robots, however, hardly anyone disturb. Passers by usually ignore them. Still the Herbert Kotzab logistics expert from the University of Bremen expects neither as fast with swarms of package drones in the German sky with scratching of supply robots on sidewalks: “very nice ideas that but probably not would survive the test of everyday life”, he says. Many customers would simply have problems with the technique. It will still turn out. Hermes will run its test in Hamburg by the end of the year and then see what happens. If the mission is successful, an expansion to other cities is planned.