Goodbye Trucks and Bikes. Hello Drones and Robots!
In February, the logistics service start-up Mesh Korea announced a partnership with California-based Bear Robotics to use self-driving robots for “last-mile delivery.” Bear Robotics is known for developing a robot named Servi that is fitted with three-dimensional sensors that help the bot serve food. While robotics technology is used in e-commerce logistics centers its use for deliveries is just beginning.
“With the rise of the e-commerce markets, the complexity of logistics systems has increased,” said Kim Myung-hwan, Chief Technology Officer at Mesh Korea. “Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and autonomous driving will play a critical role in significantly improving delivery efficiency,” he said.
Mesh Korea shares that the most exciting aspect of self-driving robots is the ability to reduce the human hassle of waiting for elevators and taking packages up to higher stories. Such advantages are becoming more recognized in the delivery industry and Korean government. In a government-funded project initiated last year, Mesh Korea tested drones and robots carry-out delivery abilities to public buildings and residential areas. With more testing, the technology becomes improved and increasingly viable for use.
Deliveries via drone are on the rise and are here to stay by many forecast and trend analysis. McKinsey consulting firm estimated the number of parcels delivered through drones increased by 324% between 2018 and 2021. A jaw-dropping number for private business and public government to plan for.
The biggest challenge for companies like Mesh Korea to overcome is regulation. Currently, Korean law restricts deliveries by robots and drones, only allowing test operations or pilot projects approved by the government. Yet, with a increased corporate and consumer interest the Korean government may be forced to reconsider these mandates. In the meantime, Mesh Korea plans to establish a digital twin of its logistics system built upon technologies supporting the metaverse and blockchain, where it can interact with its clients.
Where have you seen drones delivery? In what business sectors might it work best? Let us know!
Source: Park Eun-jee from Korea JoongAng Daily (April 18, 2022)