Delivery giant Japan Post is partnering with one of Japan’s largest door-to-door delivery service companies, Yamato, to test unmanned delivery robots on the streets of Tokyo.
The specific robot being tested was designed by local company ZMP, which specializes in
manufacturing autonomous mobile vehicles. This robot has been named “DeliRo”, short for
What are the features of DeliRo?
DeliRo has pre-installed software that allows it to drive on its own, including “lzac” autonomous driving technology. This allows it to drive at a maximum speed of 6 km/h and laser sensors and 360 degree cameras give it recognition of the surrounding environment.
The delivery robot is built with space that can hold one box, four boxes or eight boxes,
depending on size and shape, and can hold a maximum of 50 kg.
The DeliRo may be challenged by the customers that live in apartment blocks. In these
scenarios, the robot would have to learn how to use elevators in order to maximise its effectiveness. To do this, DeliRo would need to communicate with the elevator’s controls.
In recent tests, however, DeliRo has successfully practiced getting in and out of an elevator and communicating with the elevator control by connecting to the building’s platform server.
A Large Market
Tokyo, being the world’s most populous city, could be ZMP’s biggest contract for autonomous technologies if the trials go well.
These tests will allow the government to design the legal framework for operating the robots on public roads. The Road Traffic Act will likely need revision, as it states that delivery robots are self-driving vehicles and are not allowed to operate on public roads.