The department store chain Jelmoli hopes to work with robots more in future. In light of this, together with the Zurich-based startup Sevensense Robotics, it has developed a delivery robot called Beluga.
The Beluga prototype has now been presented to the public for the first time at Zurich Airport according to a press release, with the robot delivering a purchase for this. A video shows it receiving a customer’s shopping in a store, traversing The Circle at Zurich Airport, and then turning in to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. There it is opened with a cell phone so that the shopping bag can be removed.
According to Jelmoli, it is no easy task for a robot to navigate from A to B in a highly dynamic environment. The company Sevensense, a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), tackles precisely this challenge. The startup’s expertise lies in enabling mobile robots to move in public spaces. With Beluga, Sevensense used a camera-based navigation system and intelligent, self-learning algorithms to do so.
“Today the Beluga delivery robot is still a popular selfie object, but in future we won’t be able to imagine everyday life without delivery robots like this,” says COO of Sevensense Andreas Pfrunder in the press release.
Jelmoli sees several fields of application for Beluga. For example, the robot could also be used to help with the online checkout process or delivering purchases ordered at the last minute to departure or arrivals gates.