Are droids better than drones for last mile delivery ?

An article in the Chicago Tribune (April 19, 2016) titled “Droids, not drones, are the future of e-commerce deliveries”, describes plans by Starship Technologies to develp mobile delivery robots to do home deliveries. The company claims that its robots weigh 35 pounds, can be tracked by video, hold 3 bags of groceries, travel 4 miles per hour on sidewalks and do not require any new approvals. The company claims that local retailers can break even with about 15 deliveries per day, a target delivery cost between $1.40 and $4.20 per delivery and a 3 mile radius for delivery.  But drone efforts at Amazon target delivery costs of $1 per package, a speed of 60 miles per hour and a weight of 5 pounds.  Will droids or drones end up solving the last mile delivery problem ? Will the FAA approval delays make delivery to homes less likely for drones int he near future ? Will the proposed “robot delivery as a service” enable shared use of these droids and thus make them affordable to small local businesses ?

About aviyer2010

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