General, Research, Technology

When will courier robots replace living people?

Today I received a press release saying“Wildberries employed 3,000 people in 2 weeks.” A thought flashed through my head at once, and “who did these people go to work for?” At the moment, during a pandemic, the most popular profession is the courier. Delivery of any kind has become the most popular service. Couriers are not enough both in Russia and in Europe. Now I live in Spain and every day in all social networks they show me Amazon ads: “Do you have a bicycle or a car? Come to us by courier! ”. On the streets during quarantine only couriers Yandex.Food, Delivery Club, Uber Eats (in Europe) and other services for the delivery of products, goods and ready meals move. Courier - a profession of the future or will robots replace them soon?

Couriers of people will soon be replaced by robots. It remains just to wait a bit.

On March 25, an online retailer launched the http site://vsrabotavb.rf in order to help Russians find work that have lost it due to forced downtime at enterprises. During the first two weeks, from March 23 to April 7, 2020, about 3,000 people were accommodated in Wildberries.

What does the courier do? I will probably be rude., but in my understanding - this is a biorobot. He has a telephone, as a means of communication, legs, as a means of transportation and manipulative arms. Having received the next order on your phone, the courier must reach or reach the point of issue of the order and then deliver this order to the client. Gone are the days when couriers paid and carried change. Now we pay all orders immediately when ordering, directly in the application using a credit card or Apple / Google Pay. Of course, exceptions exist and especially in the regions, but everything goes to the point that payment will be made without the use of cash.

Do you know how much coronavirus remains on bills? Read in our material.

I do not know how many couriers work in the world orhow many people are employed in this difficult job. But you can guess that there are a lot of them, and with the advent of coronavirus and quarantine in our lives - there are even more of them. If earlier I went to the grocery store, now for a month now I just order food with home delivery. I even encountered online queues, for example, Amazon and other food delivery stores do not cope with the influx of orders and do not accept orders if there are no free couriers. You have to go to the site several times a day and see if there are any free dates for delivery.

Amazon Courier Robot

If we talk about life before quarantine, then I, tooinsanely often used the delivery I take from Yandex or Amazon, depending on which country I was in. In recent years, it makes no sense to go to a computer store for a new keyboard or printer cable. He pressed two buttons, and received his order the next day. I want new furniture - please! There is an online store IKEA. Do you want clothes? There are tons of online stores. Pet food? You are welcome. I would rather take a walk in the park than go for some shopping.

The most interesting thing is that there are so many things thatavailable in online stores, not available offline. My son plays computer games and we often buy top-end mice or keyboards. So, not one of them is not represented in offline stores. Have to order from the United States or at local online stores. Therefore, such a factor as “go touch” is canceled. With a guarantee and return in recent years, online shopping is also no problem. And all this is done by couriers - delivery, return, exchange.

A standalone Nuro machine can now legally deliver orders to California, USA

And now, look how cute autonomousThe car was released by California authorities on public roads. It does not even have a steering wheel and pedals: it is completely autonomous and can carry orders around the city. You just come up and get your order, isn't it convenient? Startup Nuro who created this cutie is going to replace courier delivery in the United States with thousands of such autonomous machines. The machine does not ask for a raise, does not create a union, does not fall into various unpleasant situations, and most importantly does not skip work. She does not drink or smoke, she always smells nice in the end. Why is it now that the United States was allowed to drive such a car on public roads? Yes, everything is simple - as usual, China sets the trend. During quarantine in Wuhan, JD delivery robots were used. It is safe from the point of view of quarantine and this is the main thing at the present time.

JD.com Courier Robot

In hospitals in China, robots transported drugs andfood to infected patients. In multi-storey buildings, they delivered products from the entrance to the house to the client’s apartment. The courier unloaded the order from his car, transferred it to the robot on the 1st floor, and he already brought the goods to the customer’s apartment. Convenient and safe.

A robot in Wuhan Hospital delivers medicine and food.

But back to us, to Russia. Surely everyone saw the robot courier from Yandex. These cute bedside tables carry one order in themselves, are perfectly oriented on the ground and, again, are not whimsical. Yandex also has autonomous cars that can no longer move along sidewalks, but along public roads. You understand that Yandex.Food, Yandex.Taxi, Yandex.Market are all potential consumers of autonomous cars and delivery robots. The introduction of courier robots will save a lot of money.

Yandex courier robot

Well, now you think that “they haveUSA ”, if they live in their personal homes, then delivery by such robots is very convenient - he went out and took his order. And in the Russian realities, where everyone lives in high-rise buildings, this is completely not applicable. I will object. The following picture was born in my brain:

Indoor delivery robot

Nuro robot reaches your 9th floor, from itYandex courier robot leaves and without any problems rises to your floor. What is needed for that? Yes, in general, real trifles, and I think giants like Uber or Yandex will quickly realize this. It is necessary to equip elevators and intercoms with means of communication with robots and an electronic door closer! It is really simple and will not cost any crazy money: a bluetooth module that receives a signal from a robot and sends a signal to open a door by a door closer. Just think about it - after that, robots will be able to completely replace couriers who are now engaged in the delivery of goods worldwide.

Food delivery by courier robot, 2020

One weak link remains - this is the staircase to the staircase. Honda has already solved this problem: we talked about a lifeguard robot that can move up stairs

In Spain, couriers bring goods, put themthem into the elevator on the 1st floor, they call the intercom and say: "now the elevator will bring your order, thank you bye." I don’t know what kind of elevator mode this is. In Russia, most elevators go only on condition that a person is standing in it. Perhaps here the elevators were transferred to a special mode and such an option appeared. Very comfortably. And do not contact the courier.

Your next objection would be: "Robots will be robbed and they will not be able to fight back." Perhaps, but the robot can record video of everything that happens around itself and in case of an attack, the criminal will be easy to find. But robots do not steal and do not spit in your pizza (just kidding).

We must be aware that Google and Appleworking on autonomous machines. Tesla can already ride on the roads itself and hundreds more startups are building their robots, and are thinking how to automate the delivery world. Uber, if you did not know, a loss-making company. Their profit will only go when they fire all the taxi drivers and replace them with autonomous cars. In the meantime, they are ready to work for years in the red and develop their autonomous technologies.

UBER machine hit a man, we wrote about it. But I doubt that even such tragedies can stop progress.

The worst thing in this story isthe number of unemployed people who will certainly appear after the introduction of unmanned technology. Of course there will be protests, bans at the state level, but in the end, robots will replace couriers and will deliver our packages and food.

Will we talk about taxi drivers next time?