As more and more people turn to their computers and smartphones to order dinner, a future where the autonomous delivery robot is as common as the oven seems inevitable. In fact, that’s a good way to think of these crazy bots: Instead of having an appliance in your house to make dinner, you have an appliance that brings you food from somewhere else. It’s like part well-trained dog, part microwave.
These roaming robots – which typically traverse pedestrian walkways at human speeds (about 3 miles per hour or so, a walking pace) have already been trialed in Europe and the United States, though San Francisco in particular hasn’t taken too kindly to them. Now, Japan will begin seeing robots delivering food next month, bringing hungry diners their sushi.
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According to SoraNews24, Tokyo-based robotics company ZMP has partnered with the food delivery service Ride On Express to debut its CarriRo delivery robot next month. Like most of the delivery robots we’ve seen before, the CarriRo is shaped a bit like a tiny bus, standing just over three feet tall and using cameras and sensors to zip around at maximum speeds of around 3.7 miles per hour. Since, like in other parts of the world, regulations surrounding these autonomous delivery robots aren’t entirely clear in Japan, to start, the CarriRo bots will work exclusively in private areas like office parks – though the plan is to get the robots vying for sidewalk space as soon as they can.