Yandex, a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning, has begun road testing an autonomous delivery robot for small-size cargos. Called Yandex.Rover after a space exploration device, the suitcase-sized vehicle can autonomously navigate its route on city sidewalks at a walking pace.
A number of Yandex.Rovers are already on the road, carrying small packages on the premises of the Yandex headquarters in Moscow, Russia, between the office and the stop of the company’s bus that connects all other Yandex offices in the city.
The rover moves completely autonomously, albeit under remote supervision for the duration of testing. It can recognize objects, plan the route, stop for pedestrians or animals, and avoid obstacles. Thanks to its lidar, it can confidently move in the dark.
“Yandex.Rover utilizes our achievements in self-driving,” said Dmitry Polishchuk, head of self-driving at Yandex. “We have adapted our existing technologies for new challenges and a new vehicle with a different set of sensors, so the development did not take as much time as it would have if we had to do it all from scratch. I believe robots like this will have a variety of applications in the near future.”
To watch the rover in action, click here.