When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the Czech autonomous vehicle start-up BringAuto decided to turn its attention from last-mile delivery to disinfection.
“Disinfection AV (Sprayer) is a robotic sprayer machine. Its tank holds up to 500 litres of disinfection, has sprayer arms with total width of 3 m and can disinfect up to 10,000m2 per hour. It uses camera and LIDAR sensors to follow the designated path, the robot can be controlled remotely from an operator’s console,” explains Jan Najvarek, the founder of the Brno-based start-up.
Najvarek heads BringAuto’s technology team and has worked more than ten years experience in artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.
“Our robotic delivery AV can be used to minimize human-to-human contact to deliver food, protective equipment and other necessary goods,” he adds.
The all-electric Sprayer has a speed of up to 20 km/h and a range of 100 km. A prototype is expected to be ready for June and a full working vehicle should be ready for use by July.
We believe the biggest share of last mile delivery will be done by robots.
BringAuto was established in August 2019 with an aim to bring robots to our everyday life.
Najvarek, states: “I strongly believe that simple and repetitive tasks don’t belong to people but machines. Let’s dedicate human time to things, which are creative and which people enjoy.”
One of BringAuto’s last-mile delivery solutions is the VXT, which is a robotic electric vehicle with 21 parcel boxes. The company hopes to have a pilot up and running by the end of 2020.
“It delivers these packages to the designated addresses. It will also notify the customer about delivery time. When it will arrive to the customer, after entering the code the box with his parcel will open. VXT is human driven for now but can be driven remotely using the teleoperation. One teleoperation driver can drive up to 5 vehicles simultaneously,” says BringAuto’s Business Executive, Andrea Najvárková,
“VXT is our validation platform to test how the last robotic delivery should look like and to optimize the delivery model. At the first stage we are going to cooperate with Pilulka.cz (the biggest online pharmacy in the Czech Republic) to deliver their packages in Brno,” she adds.
For the moment, all of BringAuto’s vehicles are driven by humans who operate them remotely.
“Our next prototype will be a fully robotic platform (with no back-up human driver). This platform will be flexible to holds different cargo systems so it can be turned into a robotic vending machine, security robot or robotic sprayer,” says Najvárková.
BringAuto’s ambition is to start commercial operations of its teleoperated robots by 2022.
In conclusion, Najvarek – who also founded the start-ups Artin and Roboauto – shared his vision on what last mile delivery will look like by the year 2030.
“We believe the biggest share of last mile delivery will be done by robots. It should make a price of delivery very low and affordable even for small purchases. Current average price of human last mile delivery (2-3 USD) should drop to (0.2-0.5 USD). Most of the purchases will be done online.”