Possibility of home delivery robot

Interview of the Uchimura laboratory

On December 26, we covered professor Hiroshi Uchimura of Shibaura Institute of Technology Mechanical Engineering Laboratory Department of Mechanical Engineering Laboratory.

Mr. Uchimura's laboratory is researching autonomous mobile robots and I was able to ask about feasibility of home delivery robots.

What is an Autonomous Mobile Robot?

An autonomous mobile robot refers to a robot that is unmanned and is capable of running in a sidewalk or building.

If a delivery box is attached to this and it becomes possible to carry and deliver baggage in an unattended state, it becomes a delivery robot.

Mechanism of autonomous mobile robot

The mechanism of the robot at Uchimura Laboratory is like this.

Case of home delivery robot It will be like this after this.

If we add image recognition technology to it, we can detect the road which is easy to run by looking at the material of the road, predict the direction of travel from the direction of the face of the pedestrian and carry out collision avoidance in advance.

On the practicality as a home delivery robot

It is straightforward but, is there a feasibility as a delivery robot?

Technically, it is possible to continue research.

However, it is important how much society can tolerate when there is a mistake of a robot which loses luggage or runs over a person. For example, I think that the feelings of the victims' family are different if the delivery driver on the truck hit a person and the delivery robot hit a person.It is necessary to understand that 100% safety is not available.

After that,I need to think carefully as to what I will carry.It is okay if it is something like substitution even if you lose it, but important documents will not be stylish if you get stolen, etc. on the way.

By the way, what is the risk of theft?
This is also the previous story, but what to carry.
If you install a camera that is connected to the robot online, your appearance will be balanced, so few people will steal until you shake your whole life as a stick. But if some robot is carrying 10 million yen, there are people who think that it is worth stealing a lifetime.

Other questions

Do you need to take 3D data of the route beforehand? Although it is an amateur thought, should I just avoid traveling on the route and find obstacles every time I should avoid it?

Of course, there is nothing better to do, but if that is the case, deviation will also occur in the position information.

Also, preparing 3D data throughout Japan means that there are people who take that data, so employment is born there and I think that it is socially good.

How much does the robot cost?

Even cheap, it costs about one car.
Because the sensor that we are carrying is expensive and it will do hundreds of thousands or more.

In addition to this, it costs a lot of money, such as a charging base / equipment, an elevator that can cooperate with the robot by radio, and an interphone (unnecessary if the robot can press the button).

If it gets popular, I think that the price decreases steadily due to mass production and competition.

  • Autonomous mobile robots are running with GPS and sensors combined.
  • Although home delivery robots are technically possible, the challenge is how much society can tolerate robot mistakes.

Prof. Uchimura and the laboratory who cooperated in the interview, thank you very much.