The service, that allows robots to come and go outdoors to deliver food, has become a reality for the first time in the country.
Can deliver day and night
Woowa Brothers Corp, the parent company that runs food delivery app Baemin, launched self-driving outdoor delivery robots in August at a multipurpose housing complex in Gwanggyo, a city 25 km south of capital city Seoul.
Called “Dilly Drive”, Baemin’s delivery robot delivers food from nearby restaurants to the ground floor of customers’ residences. Orders can be made via Baemin apps.
With its six wheels, Dilly Drive walks in the speed of approximately five km per hour, which is the speed of a person walking.
Once charged, it can run for more than eight hours. It can deliver at night as well with its headlights on. Dilly Drive can carry about six lunch boxes or 12 cups of beverages per delivery.
Overcoming safety issues
The company has thoroughly examined the road conditions and travel habits of residents in the complex for safety concerns. Dilly Drive is set to go slowly in parts where there are crowds or children.
At crosswalks with a lot of cars, Dilly Drive comes to a stop. Its safety has been enhanced with the real-time control via the video surveillance system installed at the apartment complex.
For the first month of service, Dilly Drive will run from 11.00-15.00 during weekdays. After that, its hours of operation will be gradually extended.
Revenue boost for restaurants
The outdoor delivery robot service via Dilly Drive represents a new source of income for restaurant and café owners.
Until now, customers were reluctant to make close-range deliveries due to the incureed delivery fees. Since robots carry out deliveries at half the existing delivery fee, owners can now expect new sales revenue.
About Woowa Brothers Corp.
Woowa Brothers, which operates South Korea’s popular food delivery platform, Baedal Minjok, has also recently launched “B Mart”, a service that delivers groceries under 30 minutes, to expand its line of business.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend for “contactless” delivery in recent months, which has seen a rise in food delivery demand coupled with a desire for less human interaction.