Posten Norge, Norway’s national postal operator, has begun working with autonomous technology startup Buddy Mobility to develop a new ground-based delivery robot capable of delivering mail and parcel items to 100 customers each day. The robot then returns to the distribution hub where it is charged and restocked overnight.
“The mail and parcel robot will be equipped with advanced control and sensor technology,” said Tone Wille, CEO of Posten Norge. “It will drive at only 6km/h (3.7mph), which means it poses little risk to its surroundings. It also increases the likelihood of commissioning the robot sooner.
“We have great faith in a self-driving future and in the profitable applications in the short and long term for a logistics company like ours. To some extent we are dependent on technology development by the major vehicle manufacturers. At the same time, we also want to stimulate the market to develop more niche-driven solutions, and our innovation agreement with Buddy Mobility is an example of this.”
Posten Norge will attend Arendalsuka in August – the forum for Norwegian politicians and business representatives – and will promote the use of autonomous solutions in the logistics sector.
The post plans to demonstrate a prototype of the mail and parcel robot at the event. It also plans to test the robot in a residential area in Kongsberg, Norway, toward the end of the year.
Per Ivar Selvaag, head of development for Buddy Mobility, said, “We believe there is significant potential in autonomous technology and find it exciting that a major actor like Posten Norge is leading the way and contributing to the development and application of solutions like these. This may pave the way for an international initiative, because mail and parcel delivery is very similar around the world.”