Posten Norge gets into delivery robot game

Nordic postal operator Posten Norge has announced plans to work with Buddy Mobility to develop “the world’s first self-driving mail and parcel robot”.

“The mail and parcel robot will be equipped with advanced control and sensor technology. It will drive at only six kilometres an hour, which means it poses little risk to its surroundings. It also increases the likelihood of commissioning the robot sooner,” said Tone Wille, CEO of Posten Norge.

Wille continued: “We have great faith in a self-driving future and in the profitable applications in the short and long term for a logistics company like ours. To some extent we are dependent on technology development by the major vehicle manufacturers. At the same time, we also want to stimulate the market to develop more niche-driven solutions, and our innovation agreement with Buddy Mobility is an example of this.”

Before the end of the year, there are plans to test the robot in a residential district of Kongsberg toward the end of this year, according to a blog on the Posten Norge website.

According to the Posten Norge article: “In selected locations, the new robot could replace the mailbox as we know it today. You will be notified that mail and parcels are on the way, and you can decide whether to meet the robot down the street and pick up the delivery immediately or to book delivery right to your door at a time that suits you. The robot drives itself back to the distribution centre in the evening and is filled up overnight with the next day’s deliveries. The mail and parcel robot can serve up to 100 households.”

Will this actually be the ‘first’? Starship robots trundle all over the city streets of northern California and many other city streets in the world. They tend to carry things like groceries. Aren’t groceries ‘parcels’?!