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Autonomous robot trialled for last-mile deliveries in Helsinki

287 days ago

3 minutes

Electric parcel delivery robot will do the rounds for 1 month

Source: TheMayor.eu and Forum Virium Helsinki

Facing a growing population and increasing logistics challenges, the City of Helsinki has opted for a truly modern solution. The people of Jätkäsaari district will enjoy the opportunity to collect their packages from an autonomous and environmentally-friendly electric delivery robot, as part of a trial scheme lasting from November 2 to December 10 2021.

The city has an innovation company called Forum Virium Helsinki, which has teamed up with the start-up LMAD, GIM Robotics, and DB Schenker, to find out how an autonomous delivery robot can facilitate improvements to urban logistics. It is specifically the area of last-mile delivery which presents the most challenges, and opportunities.

As for the practical delivery of the service, customers simply select DB Schenker and the LMAD robot when placing an order. Much like any other courier service, they will receive a link for setting their delivery preferences, and at this point they choose their preferred time and location from a set route. When the robot arrives at that spot, it sends a code to the recipient, who can then unlock and collect the package.

Antti Jarva, who is in charge of DB Schenker’s package business in Finland said, “DB Schenker is actively involved in the innovation of the logistics industry. In Finland, we have developed package pick-up points in particular to facilitate smooth flows of goods to various residential environments. We study the use of delivery robots as one pick-up point solution for densely populated urban areas”.

LMAD is the company who operates the robot. Co-founder and Product Lead Gergely Horváth said, “For us, this is an excellent opportunity to test an autonomous delivery service with the residents of Jätkäsaari. We want to learn how our solution brings additional value to both residents and our partner, DB Schenker. Our aim is to offer a service that is a convenient, flexible and environmentally friendly option while simultaneously reducing logistics costs”.

During the pilot, the robot is accompanied by an operator who ensures safe and smooth execution. Moving at walking speed, it employs sophisticated sensors and lidar technology, to observe and react to its surroundings, and stop for any obstacles.

Photo credit: Forum Virium Helsinki
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