ShopRite trials Tortoise delivery robots

US East Coast supermarket chain ShopRite is trialling new Tortoise semi-autonomous delivery robots. The pilot out of a ShopRite store in Pennsylvania is to begin before the end of the month with a second being trialled in the state in October.

Tortoise delivery robots are remotely controlled beyond visual line of sight by specially trained delivery drivers. They are able to drive on footpaths and at the side of the road, and travel at around 3mph. With a payload capacity of around 70kg, it has lockers for ambient, chilled and frozen items.

On arrival at a shopper’s location the customer is sent a text message with a link to open the lockers on the robots to pick up the goods they have bought.

Wakefern owned ShopRite is not the first business to trial the Tortoise delivery robots – last month, Texas based Urban Value Corner began a trial too.

“We are excited to launch this revolutionary new technology. Demand for ever-faster home delivery continues to increase and we believe this provides another innovative way for ShopRite customers to receive their groceries quickly and efficiently,” said Wakefern chairman and CEO Joe Colalillo, who also serves as president of the ShopRite of Hunterdon County and operator of the Yardley and Bethlehem stores. “Tortoise’s battery-powered cart is a unique, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective delivery option for our customers who shop online.”

“Wakefern is our first customer on the east coast to use this innovative delivery system and we believe shoppers will love the convenience Tortoise offers,” added Dmitry Shevelenko, co-founder of Tortoise.  “Our electric cart allows ShopRite associates to focus less on the delivery of products and more on helping customers to improve the shopping experience.”

“We are excited to deliver on our promise to future proof fulfilment for ShopRite. Tortoise is the latest in a series of fulfilment options ShopRite will orchestrate against to provide superior customer experiences,” said Manil Uppal, founder of Delivery Solutions.

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