Cleveron, a Viljandi based Estonian tech company has developed a self-driving robot named “Courier”, that bagged the first prize at the Parcel and Postal Technology International Awards in the Last-Mile Delivery Innovation category at Amsterdam.
The awards were meant to award recognition to companies that are leading the way in improving the last-mile delivery. Last-mile delivery is all about conducting the movement of goods from a transport hub to their final delivery point as fast as possible.
Contending the competition
Courier, first revealed in 2018 at the Robotex International Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, stood strong against six of its contenders including SameDay Bot from FedEx, and Ex-Flex from Renault.
“Estonian parcel locker manufacturer Cleveron has come up with a self-driving delivery robot that delivers parcels at compatible lockers. The vehicle is loaded with parcels at the depot before they are dispatched to predesignated locations. A drone then pulls up alongside the parcel locker and deposits the package inside using a robotic arm. The entire process is autonomous meaning, recipients do not need to be at the delivery location to receive the parcel. As soon as the parcel arrives, a notification is sent on the recipient’s phone telling him about the parcel delivery”, said a report by a UK-based postal technology magazine.
Introducing Robots to the Estonian Streets
The robot Cleveron weighs about 100 kg (220lbs) and can deliver packages up to double its weight. Unlike humans, the robot will be making deliveries during the night as well. The company, mostly known for its pick-up towers in some Walmart stores across the US, is aiming to introduce these robots to the Estonian streets by mid-2020.
From drone parcel delivery to zero-emission fleets to advancements in robotics and Internet of things, the latest innovations from startups and established tech giants were set up for display. More than 4000 people from some 97 countries attended the Parcel and Post Expo at the beginning of October, and over 200 international exhibitors showcased their latest innovations at this free-to-attend expo.
The Parcel and Postal Technology International awards are said to recognize and reward the latest developments in the postal sector. The judging panel consists of some major decision-makers in the world’s postal courier and e-commerce firms.
Amid innovations being introduced, a revolution in the courier and delivery industry is sure to follow. However, it will be interesting to see the impact it creates on human employment.