Toronto – Tiny Mile, creators of the “Geoffrey” food delivery robot, today announced a partnership with foodora to provide on-demand delivery in Canada. Initial plans are to pilot the delivery robots in Toronto, but the companies said expansion to other Canadian locations is planned.
The Geoffrey robot, named after Geoffrey Hinton, an acclaimed computer scientist and “godfather of machine learning”, weighs 10 pounds and can carry up to six pounds in its “trunk”, the company said. The payload is the equivalent of an $80 takeout order, and the robot can travel at a maximum speed of 6 km/hour, delivering to a one-mile radius from a downtown Toronto restaurant within 15 minutes, the company added.
“I thought we’d be relying on autonomous cars by now, but since this isn’t yet a reality, we adapted the same methods to create a functional product in the short term,” said Ignacio Tartavull, CEO of Tiny Mile. “Our exclusive partnership with foodora allows us to be at the forefront of eco-friendly AI delivery. We hope to have 50 robots delivering with foodora by July 2020 – the possibilities are endless.”
Remote driver, eco-friendly
The robot is equipped with five cameras that provide a remote control driver with a wide-angle view (220 degrees), and zooming capabilities to read building addresses and see at night. The electric-powered robot has a 12-hour battery life, which the company said makes it an ecological way to move goods in a dense, urban environment. While out on delivery, Geoffrey’s trunk is locked so nobody can tamper with its contents.
“To better serve our Canadian customers, we’re always seeking out fresh ways to reduce our carbon footprint, while making strides in the on-demand delivery space,” said David Albert, managing director of foodora Canada. “For now, we’re piloting three delivery robots with Tiny Mile in Toronto, with plans to add more. We look forward to growing together – with the environment and innovation in mind.”
The company said at the moment, Tartavull and his team will walk with the robots to educate customers and restaurants on how they can interact with Geoffrey.
The robotics food delivery market includes several other companies, including Starship Technologies, Nuro, Postmates, Uber Eats, Boxbot, and others. Mordor Intelligence recently published a report predicting a compound annual growth rate of more than 49.5% from 2020 through 2025 for autonomous delivery robots.