Robot delivers your grocery! A futuristic service begins in Japan

A shopping delivery service started using UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), automatic delivery robots, on public roads in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. The robots deliver items purchased at supermarkets in just 30 minutes.

Major internet-related service provider Rakuten is developing a website specifically for smartphones, while Panasonic is working on the UGV.

The service is available for a JPY110 (incl. tax; USD0.86 checked on 31/5/2022) fee covering over 2,000 items in stores of the supermarket operator Seiyu. Items include fresh food, chilled and frozen products, food and beverages (e.g. box lunches and delicatessen items) and daily necessities. Users can check the UGV’s location and estimated arrival time on the dedicated website during the delivery. On arrival, the user receive an automated voice phone call or SMS notification via their smartphone.

Current Japanese law states that robots must be accompanied by security personnel. However, a revised Road Traffic Act was approved this April in preparation for the future, allowing robots to make deliveries by themselves as soon as within a year.

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