Almost all companies involved in the production of courier robots are engaged in the development of fully autonomous models, where operators look after the movements of robots, intervening only in some critical and abnormal situations. Several dozen models of various types, sizes, and weights have already been created; in the course of the competition, the market will choose the most adapted to the needs of customers.
In Turkey, they decided to create tandems of an operator and several small semi-autonomous robots. Television operators set a course for each robot, the robot works it out. Thanks to this, one dispatcher can control 5 robots at the same time.
Developed by Bizero Robotics, the PIKA courier robot is a two-wheeled, semi-autonomous street mobile delivery robot capable of carrying up to 30 kg of payload. Its power reserve is up to 100 km without recharging, and the speed reaches 10 kilometers per hour. They are capable of working in rainy and snowy weather, as well as at low temperatures.
The creation of PIKA took about 8 months in total. Experiments are now being carried out with him at the Bogazici University in Istanbul.
In total, to date, 10 semi-autonomous PIKA robots have been released. By the end of 2021, it is planned to increase their number to 100. This business model is attractive in that the manufacturer does not offer renting robots with payment by subscription or for miles traveled, they hope for the demand for robots from delivery services, restaurants, markets, etc.
It is noteworthy that another company using street courier robots is already operating in the capital of Turkey, this is Delivers AI, which uses classic four-wheeled autonomous robots. This corporation is also striving to increase the number of robotic equipment up to 100 units. However, even this number of robots will not be enough for Istanbul. The number of couriers in the country reaches almost 100 thousand. Most of them travel on motorcycles, and a significant part of them work illegally and receive much lower salaries than drivers with licenses. This type of employment is considered quite dangerous since there is an increased mortality rate among couriers. Robots will be able to at least partially solve this problem. After all, thanks to them, drivers will be able to go to a safer job of controlling automated equipment.