Dogs and package delivery are two things that usually don’t mix, at least in movies and television shows. But soon robotic versions of the canine friends could become the carrier.
Continental is showcasing its concept delivery system, “cascading robot delivery,” at CES this week in Las Vegas, mixing an autonomous shuttle and an autonomous delivery robot dog. Continental teamed up with ANYbotics, a startup company out of Switzerland, who developed the ANYmal robotic delivery dog.
With the move toward autonomous transportation already in full gear, the team at Continental began to think of how they could take the shuttle concept even further. Continental already uses the shuttle in its headquarters parking lots, both in the U.S. and Germany to transport people, but this is the first time the delivery robot-dogs have been demonstrated.
“We can use it for just passenger transportation, but we wanted to get maximum usage out of the vehicle,” said Steffan Hartman, technical project lead systems and technology, at Continental North America. “We thought (the delivery system) could work in the parts of the day where there isn’t such high demand for passenger rides.”
The cube will drive itself to the delivery location, fully automated, the doors open and the delivery robots exit the vehicle with package in tow, and delivery the last distance between the vehicle and the door. The robot is able to navigate any roadblocks on it’s way to the package’s destination.
With the attention the demonstrations have received this week at CES, Hartman said he believes the system is a viable solution for package delivery sometime in the foreseeable future.