Imagine a c-store that comes to you.
In Bejing China, Liu Zhiyong, founder and CEO of Zhen Robotics, which manufactures the robot, sees a bright future for his “little yellow horse” robot. About the size of a small washing machine, this autonomous delivery robot, delivers drinks, fruit and snacks from a local store to the residents of the "Kafka" compound in the Chinese capital of Bejing.
It is equipped with a GPS system, cameras and radar, and the CEO of Zhen predicts that one billion packages will eventually be delivered every day because of technologies like his. He goes on to say that "There will not be enough humans to make the deliveries. We need more and more robots to fill this gap in manpower. And to reduce costs."
China is the world's biggest online shopping market with more than half of its population making at least one smartphone purchase per month, according to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. This compares to 14 percent in the rest of the world.
To get a delivery via the "little yellow horse", according to a report in Japan Today, the customer selects the desired products, taps in the address and pays right on their phone. The supermarket staff place the items in the robot, and the robot takes off. Deliveries in China are increasingly being made by autonomous means and several firms have received the OK to operate drones, either to deliver directly to the customer or to ferry goods between hubs.