The age of corona: These autonomous robots of Europe are the future of contactless delivery



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Amid the coronavirus outbreak we have come across several startups in the robotics industry that are unfolding new innovative ways to fight the pandemic crisis. At the same time, delivery robots are also gaining momentum. And as businesses are mapping out long-term and immediate strategies, its quite evident that robotics industry will continue to serve industries and communities even in the post-COVID-19 era. 

Moreover, in the ‘Age of Corona’ – as some like to call it, a rise in the adoption of automation and robotics solutions for delivering goods is expected to happen. It’s very obvious with the growing demand for contactless delivery. Already, several companies are testing autonomous robots to do last-mile deliveries, globally.

Relatively, today we take a look at some European companies which have developed these inventive autonomous delivery robots and are all set to conquer the delivery industry in the post-Corona world.

Picture credits: Balyo

Balyo (France)

Founder/s: Fabien Bardinet
Founded year: 2005
Funding: €10 million

Balyo designs, develops, and markets innovative handling robots. The French company’s navigation technology transforms standard forklift trucks into standalone intelligent robots that can work alongside humans. As a contrast to traditional automated trucks that are expensive and inflexible, Balyo does not require lines or reflectors on the floor to guide its fleet of robots, but relies on geoguidance on the existing structural environment, columns, walls and racks.

Picture credits: Eliport

Eliport (Spain)

Founder/s: Dmitry Skorinko, Patrick Synge
Founded year: 2017
Funding: €110k

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Eliport solves last-mile logistics problems by providing robotics solutions with its fleet of ground-based delivery machines. These delivery robots by the Spanish company are autonomous and travel on pavements and in pedestrian zones at walking speeds.

Further, Eliport robots are different from other autonomous robots as these can be loaded and unloaded sans human interaction. And, it lets businesses accomplish their objective of offering a cost-effective and reliable delivery service for urban and suburban areas. Also, it solves convenience-based delivery issues for customers.

Picture credit: Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies (Estonia)

Founder/s: Ahti Heinla, Janus Friis
Founded year: 2014
Funding: €74.7 million

Starship Technologies uses autonomous robots to deliver packages within two or three miles. Its fleet of self-driving delivery robots are designed to deliver goods locally within 30 minutes.

The Estonian startup believes that its robots will revolutionise food and package deliveries, offering people convenient services that improve everyday life.

In March 2020, Starship Technologies started operating delivery robots in Milton Keynes in the UK.

Picture credits: Teleretail

TeleRetail (Switzerland)

Founder/s: Torsten Scholl, Xenia Scholl
Founded year: 2014
Funding: €950k

TeleRetail, the Swiss company known for developing autopilot software for self-driving transport vehicles, also came up with a prototype of personal delivery device. It is designed to cover long distances, up to 50 miles, and to serve rural and suburban markets along with city residents.

Back in 2019, TeleRetail also assisted the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn to launch its delivery robot dubbed as ‘Aitonomi’. The robot navigates itself using the virtual map and can be opened with the smartphone upon arrival.

Picture credits: PAL Robotics

PAL Robotics (Spain)

Founder/s: Francesco Ferro
Founded year: 2008
Funding: €600k

TIAGo Base is one of our most flexible and adaptable robots, which is ready to help in tackling the pandemic. TIAGo Base robot of PAL Robotics delivers food and transfers objects such as medication and samples within hospitals and similar environments. TIAGo Base easily adapts to its environment and staff don’t need specialised training to operate the robot. The autonomous robot from the Spanish company makes deliveries quickly and safely, reducing the need for social interactions and also the spread of infection.

What do you think? Will autonomous delivery robots be a success in the post-COVID world? Share your opinion in the comments section below or write to us at [email protected].

Main image picture credits: Starship Technologies

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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