The Russian internet company Yandex has unveiled a delivery robot that can intelligently and autonomously deliver packages.
It’s been named Yandex.Rover after the classic lunar exploration vehicles. It’s the size of a suitcase and navigates sidewalks at the speed of a pedestrian. As part of the initial testing phase, Yandex.Rover has started operating on the Yandex campus in Moscow.
Dmitry Polishchuk, head of Self-Driving at Yandex, says: “We have adapted our existing technologies for new challenges and a new vehicle with a different set of sensors, so the development did not take as much time as it would have if we had to do it all from scratch. I believe robots like this will have a variety of applications in the near future. They can, for example, become indispensable for the ‘last mile’ delivery.”
In a Medium blog, the Yandex Self-Drving team writes: ‘By testing on our campus first, we can ensure Rover safely operates in many challenging conditions before operating across the city. We are testing during various weather conditions in both daylight and darkness. Yandex.Rover can reach its destination in fully autonomous mode, but we monitor its activities with a remote operator’.
It adds: ‘With over 7,000 employees and multiple office buildings, public restaurants, and parking garages on our main campus, Yandex HQ is an excellent testing ground for this project’.
Yandex says the applications include food delivery through the Yandex.Eats platform and grocery orders from Yandex.Lavka. It may also be used at its eCommerce warehouses and data centers, where the robot could be used to transport cargo within the facilities.