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Video: Robots to deliver food, groceries in Dubai this year

Dubai - A tech firm will start a trial run of its last-mile delivery robots in the third quarter.

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Wed 10 Feb 2021, 4:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 10 Feb 2021, 4:53 PM

Robots will soon start delivering groceries and food to Dubai homes, as a Turkish firm is set to launch its last-mile delivery bots in the UAE.

Ali Kutay Yarali, founder and CEO of Delivers AI, a last-mile logistics company, told Khaleej Times that the company plans to roll out the trial run of the delivery robots from the third quarter of this year.

“The best place to make trials in the beginning is Dubai Internet City because there is a high adoption of technology in the area, as majority of people there are white-collar workers. DIC is followed by Downtown, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and Dubai Investment Park Villas,” Yarali said during a phone interview from Istanbul.

Prior to moving to Turkey during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Yarali was associated with DIFC-based firms for a few years.

The company is in final talks with an online food order platform and dark kitchen concepts in the UAE.

“In Q2, we will make commercial robot tests and then deploy them for trial run in the third quarter in Dubai. In Dubai, we are already speaking with retailers but, right now, we are focused on the engineering and technology side. Because finding the customer is not that difficult,” he said confidently.

Strong infrastructure, safety, good network of monitoring cameras and the more civilised population of the emirate are some of the key factors that prompted Delivers AI to introduce these robots to Dubai.

Commenting on the regulations, he said that in the US, pedestrians, scooters and delivery robots are in the same category. The Turkish firm will take up these regulations with stakeholders in the UAE, like the Roads and Transport Authority, and start the process soon.

He said traditional home delivery courier witnessed a massive increase in demand during the pandemic last year and his company wanted to cash in on the trend.

“Delivers AI would like to optimise last-mile delivery, around one-mile-diameter areas. Because delivery costs went up and then there were infection concerns among restaurants and end-users, as well as challenges of food tampering and delivery boys not able to find the address correctly. We can do away with these by automating the last-mile delivery process,” he added.

100% success rate

Delivers AI's robot, priced at $8,000, has been tested in Istanbul and made 500 deliveries. It has a capacity to carry 15kg of weight.

“It achieved 100 per cent success rate without any software or hardware failure. Now, we are working on a second robot which will be much more comprehensive. The robots will operate on the pedestrian lane and bicycle roads. They can detect objects like humans, traffic lights or anything else on the pedestrian walkway and they avoid obstacles autonomously. Also, each robot is monitored from office so it gives opportunity to the couriers to monitor delivery robots in a safe and more hygienic manner,” said Yarali.

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