What a time to be alive! Drones, robots, algorithm... the future of delivery is bright. And exciting. Ever since the video from Amazon Prime Air got released, our attention shifted. We now think that the future of delivery = drone delivery. This is partially true.

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Dr. Emmett Brown - Back to the Future II

Here are a couple of other exciting projects that caught our attention.

Robby

Robby is a tech startup that makes self-driving delivery robots. Just in the US, there are 12 billion of packages delivered every single year. Problem is the on-demand meal and grocery industries are being held back by the high costs of human deliverers.

The self-driving delivery robots from Robby can autonomously navigate sidewalks to your door, say the two co-founders Dheera Venkatraman and Rui Li.

Robby was created by two MIT PhD who already built bots that have made 50 deliveries so far. It can dramatically reduce the costs of deliveries.

Instacart—which delivers your groceries within 1 hour—will begin a pilot program with them soon. Robby's team is about to move to Palo Alto, and they are hiring. Check out their website 🤖 and apply to work with Dheera and Rui if you're into that space.

ORION by UPS

ORION stands for On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation. It's a program UPS has been developing for more than 10 years now in an effort to save money from delivery routes. A team of 50 engineers at UPS worked on helping delivery drivers find the fastest and most fuel-efficient way to get packages at your doorsteps.

Long story short. ORION will calculate the best way to deliver your package and it's exciting to see logistic giants investing money into improving their services.

Although some UPS drivers are not convinced yet, this is how UPS could save money in the long run and optimise operations against innovative competitors.

Starship

Starship Technologies is a startup founded by former Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. It consists of small 'ground drones' and the prototype can carry around 40 pounds so far. Starship drones employ high-resolution maps of a local area and customers will be able to check with an app the progress of the delivery.

In theory, customers could have the possibility to try out a product, decide not to keep it and send the drone back to the sender with the product inside for zero.

Know more about Starship here

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