Robotics

Coco 1 remotely piloted delivery robot is headed for the streets of LA

Coco 1 remotely piloted delive...
Intended for use within neighborhoods, the Coco 1 has a delivery range of 3 miles (5 km)
Intended for use within neighborhoods, the Coco 1 has a delivery range of 3 miles (5 km)
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Intended for use within neighborhoods, the Coco 1 has a delivery range of 3 miles (5 km)
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Intended for use within neighborhoods, the Coco 1 has a delivery range of 3 miles (5 km)

Autonomous aerial delivery drones do potentially risk getting caught in branches, losing their way, or falling onto people's heads. That's where the Coco 1 comes in, as it's a ground-based delivery robot that is entirely remotely controlled.

Looking not unlike a high-tech Radio Flyer li'l red wagon, the Coco 1 was developed via a partnership between Segway and Los Angeles-based robotic delivery company Coco. It actually replaces a smaller, less capable delivery bot that Coco started using in LA last year.

The battery-powered Coco 1 has a delivery radius of 3 miles (5 km), and is designed first and foremost for the ferrying of food from restaurants or grocery stores to customers' homes. After one of those customers places an order online, a worker at the corresponding business places the food items in the robot's insulated locking cargo box. It can reportedly carry up to four full grocery bags.

Wirelessly communicating with a centrally located human operator, the Coco 1 then travels along the sidewalks to the customer's home. While the bot is en route, the operator views the street in real time via multiple onboard cameras, plus they use a mic to listen for sirens before crossing roads. They can also engage in two-way conversations with bystanders or users.

An LED-lit safety flag, headlights and tail lights help the robot to be noticed by pedestrians and drivers. It additionally emits an operating sound, so that it will be detected by the blind.

According to Coco, the robot is guaranteed to reach its destination in 30 minutes or less. Its cargo box then unlocks, allowing the customer to remove their food.

Plans call for the Coco 1 to initially enter use with LA's Erewhon Market grocery store chain. Coco states that over the next several months, thousands of the robots will be delivered to participating businesses in multiple cities.

Source: Coco

7 comments
7 comments
guzmanchinky
Very cool, but fraught with possible pitfalls. Teenage kids who think it's hilarious to push one over. People tripping over them and bikes hitting them alone would be such a lawsuit magnet.
Daishi
It's not really the right forum to have this conversation but have they been to LA? Many routes would be unpassable without a private security detail to protect them from homeless tampering. Many times police don't have the cycles to deal with something like this and there is a conversation to be had about the company saving labor in delivery to place higher burden on taxpayers though needing police presence to protect routes. I think it limits these to pretty short routes but this is one area where drones have an advantage.
LiamKoot
Or you could just employ someone to deliver the packages without spending millions on R&D and instead give someone the opportunity to earn an income. I appreciate the tech but when tech takes jobs and does not provide free basics necessary for people to live, then I feel like technology is failing at its most core principle.
pete-y
Remote delivery robots are already operating successfully in the UK - Milton Keynes and Northampton. The company controls them from Lithuania !! BUT It is the guy who invented Skype which must give lots of confidence. See https://www.starship.xyz/. They are spooky to watch but seem to work well.
pete-y
I have just checked and the starship robots are operating all round the globe and achieved 1 million deliveries. Bigger than I thought.P
Kevin Ritchey
So I can see delivery theft happening and I don’t even have to make the effort to go find it; it comes to me.
Bob
Have the nerds that designed these even stepped outside in the last few years?

Have they not seen the rampant looting and violence in the last few weeks here?

These "robocarts" will last about 2 minutes in the streets of LA before being vandalized, burned, thrown off highway overpasses, looted etc.

Never mind the displacement of delivery workers by these things.

If I saw one of these, quick shot of paint onto the cameras, break out my crowbar, and free groceries. The robocart would definitely end up being hurled off an overpass.

Do they plan to have a "security escort" for these stupid things? Because their going to need one.