Grab Singapore today (May 19th) announced a pilot robot running service at the Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) mall, starting in the second week of June.
The robot runner will be able to combine orders at several mall restaurants before handing them over to delivery partners at a central last-mile delivery point.
Grab projects that his delivery partners will delete between five to 15 minutes of normal time to navigate malls and collect multiple orders.
During the pilot phase, the robot racer will potentially serve up to 35 GrabFood and GrabMart retailers in the basement of the two PLQ malls and ferry approximately more than 250 orders per day.
Initially, the Grab Runner will guide the robot runner on his ideal route.
This will allow him to learn, adapt and function effectively in a controlled environment. The pilot is expected to last a month, and Grab will review its performance and viability before expanding the service to other locations.
The introduction of the robotic runner comes when Grab introduced the mixing and matching function in several malls last year. This feature has become more popular among consumers as they order from different restaurants within the mall and pay a single delivery fee.
However, with the increase in the number of such orders, delivery partners need more time to maneuver through shopping malls to find more restaurants.
“As a technology platform that serves consumers, retailers and drivers, we are constantly looking for innovative solutions that can improve the overall delivery experience for all parties. It’s a nice balance to achieve and we believe that advanced technologies like AI can help us do it well, ”said Yee Wee Tang, CEO of Grab Singapore.
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The robot runner was designed in partnership with Techmetics Robotics which specializes in the design of a wide range of autonomous mobile robots.
The Grab robot runner will have the opportunity to learn about their environment through artificial intelligence (AI) and optimize for maximum efficiency.
It also comes with safety features such as built-in light detection and range (LIDAR) sensors to detect incoming obstacles.
Furthermore, it features an automated voice message that alerts customers to their presence and the ability to scan and monitor immediate proximity in real time to avoid sudden obstacles and prevent a collision.
The food carts on the robotic runner will be delivered with a combination lock, with a combination given only to participating traders and Grab staff. In this way, unauthorized interference of passers-by is prevented.
Credit for featured paintings: Grab