Talking about the use of Autonomous Robots for Personal Transportation and Delivery, a picture of drones carrying our packages and self-driving cars are the images that, most certainly, enter our heads.
While that is quite accurate and will make our lives exceptionally easy, numerous types of robots can be Jarvis enabled to not just transport our packages but us too! Wouldn’t that be exciting! We could have a personal Iron Man suit flying us places just cause!
To achieve a more interesting approach, let us look at the possible fictional influences and then compare them to the current developments in our reality for after all, science-fiction is a tomorrow’s reality.
Most Engineering designers use science fiction as a source of inspiration. We all aspire to be as cool and smart as Tony Stark or Cisco Ramon (source: Flash) or many more builders who make machines that can aid in their endeavors.
First, albeit of fictional origin, robots follow Asimov’s laws of Robotics. Isaac Asimov, a biochemistry professor at the University of Boston, was one of the Big Three Science fiction writers. The laws are as follows:
(1) a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
(2) a robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law
(3) a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Another law was later added. Since it should have been the first rule, it came to be known as the zeroth law. It stated that “a robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.”
1 Autonomous Robots for Personal Transportation
The more exciting aspect of this topic would be the numerous ways we can get from point A to point B with the help of Autonomous Robots.
1.1 Fictional references vs Reality
In the movie WALL-E, while Eve and WALL-E are smart autonomous robots themselves that follow the rules of Asimov, AUTO doesn’t follow them. Now that we have context, let us take a look at the egg-shaped pods that the humans in the movie used to hover around.
Segway has developed an egg-shaped Transportation pod that looks like the hover chair from the movie we just discussed but the development was influenced by the transportation mode in the movie Jurassic World. The company believes this could replace the two-wheelers on roads.
The concept of driverless cars or self-driving cars has been around for a long time now. Many movies depict the concept just less realistically. One such reference would be the badass Audi from the movie I, Robot.
Many companies are working on this concept. The prominent company would be Tesla. Even though they haven’t successfully produced a fully automatic car yet, they are surely working towards it to give you a smooth sailing experience on urban and suburban roads.
Tesla cars use numerous external cameras and ultrasonic sensors to enable auto-steer and auto-lane change features that work by also understanding light signals. The car can recognize a parking spot and an even more exciting feature, it can parallel park on its own.
Going from a semi-automatic car that initiates braking at the right time considering the obstacle in front to a fully autonomous robot is a major upgrade that takes us close to a future that won’t need drivers.
It is of absolute necessity that we understand that we haven’t reached a time where we don’t have to man the wheel. Even though the Artificial intelligence-enabled car is perfectly capable of handling the car on highways, a driver must be at the wheel to take over if and when something goes haywire.
Consumers’ perceptions of mobility may be completely altered by Autonomous Driving(AD). Driving may be safer, more practical, and more pleasurable with AD systems. Instead of spending time commuting, you might utilize those hours to video chat with a buddy, watch a comedy, or even work.
Driving an Automated Vehicle may boost employee productivity for those with lengthy commutes and perhaps cut down on the working length. Worker mobility may increase as a result of the ability to do business from an autonomous vehicle, which may lead to a rise in population in suburban and rural regions. Additionally, AD may increase older drivers’ mobility by giving them choices other than public transit or car-sharing.
Tesla isn’t the only company working on the development of Autonomous Robots for Personal Transportation, Google, BMW, and many more are working towards a green and efficient future.
Despite successfully passing testing to become the first self-driving car to receive a certificate, supporting participatory infrastructure is a challenge. The test was carried out inside a certain geographic area, thus the organization created a thorough map of the test area.
A significant problem still has to be overcome regarding the upkeep of viable present road maps for the widespread usage of self-driving automobiles. For self-driving automobiles, Google Street View is insufficient.
Robotic cars require a variety of sorts of information, including up-to-date information on traffic signals, road signs, road conditions, and roadworks. On the other side, the reliance on Autobots on visible road markers or signs has been greatly diminished.
The majority of people believe that only when there are a significant number of autonomous vehicles on the road will they become economically feasible. The intricacy is increased by regular autos, unreliable drivers, and jaywalkers.
According to tests, a robotic car has successfully navigated crosswalks and other pedestrian crossings. Additionally, a v2v connection significantly increases the efficiency of the traffic flow. Self-driving automobiles should communicate in the same language as other industrial communications, but there is no established standard for this.
Where should autonomous vehicle makers do testing? A few test robotic automobiles in actual traffic situations, while others construct testing facilities and use former military locations.
To maximize throughput and improve safety, self-driving cars will plan routes around traffic bottlenecks and road construction. They will also interact with neighboring vehicles and traffic signals. Robotic vehicles will employ a feedback strategy that combines components of centralized and distributed control.
During peak hours or to certain vehicles (such as an ambulance or fire teams), priority may be given. These ideas are already used in GPS navigation software, which speeds up existing road travel.
Why would anyone require a car that can navigate itself? Specifically, to 1) eliminate monotonous operations, 2) improve safety, and 3) improve traffic flow. We continue to invest a significant amount of time and energy in transportation because we still need to physically move ourselves and our cargo over land.
Who wouldn’t like to be active while driving rather than being behind the wheel, especially as life is getting busier and busier?
Reading a newspaper, finishing a presentation, having a business call while consulting a laptop, or taking a nap are all possible activities to engage in during safe robotic door-to-door transportation. These privileges are currently only available to people who can afford personal drivers.
3 Working of Autonomous Robots
The working of Autonomous Robots is based on their design and that is based on the kinds of accommodations required for the technology used in these robots. Regardless of their mode of movement, the robots consist of various cameras and sensors that will help them
- Detect objects
- Avoid collisions
- Map out efficient pathways
- Analyze the route conditions
- Maintain internal temperature for food deliveries
- Make on-the-spot decisions for unexpected obstacles
- Take care of themselves like going to a nearby charging station if they are low on charge.
While these are only some of the most common features that are of absolute necessity other features would be necessary based on the terrain, for example, the kind of wheels it might need or the ability to go up and down stairs.
The delivery robots could use QR codes or alpha-numeric codes to make sure the packages reach the right people.
Along with these, cyber security, curated for these machines will need development to not only protect the machines but also save the people from not receiving their orders. This could just easily go down if not protected with the imperative measures.
4 Autonomous Robots for Delivery
The use of Autonomous Robots for Delivering goods is already in existence in various places. A cute little robot strides around the cities passing commodities. There are three types of autonomous robots meant for deliveries
(2) Sidewalk Autonomous Delivery Robots (SADR) – SADRs are pedestrian-sized robots that deliver items to customers without the intervention of a delivery person.
(3) Road Autonomous Delivery Robots (RADR) – RADRs are vehicles that move on roads to deliver food, groceries, packages, etc.
Along with roaming around warehouses as little helpers in the Industry 4.0 scheme, these autonomous robots are now coming out in the sun delivering food, letters, and other goods as part of technological advancements that will help us grow towards a more advanced future.
Just as with any technological development, this form of robot is being developed by more than just one company.
Starship Technologies is releasing a bunch of these autonomous robots on a few college campuses for food deliveries ensuring not just quick deliveries but clean and sanitized ones. These robots are relatively slow when compared to a human on a bike, but can go up on slight inclinations. They cannot climb stairs as of now so their tests are run on low-level sites.
Amazon’s Autonomous Robots for suburban Parcel delivery go around at a walking pace. These robots are called Scout. These small, blue robots are stirring excitement among Amazon delivery customers.
Amazon is also working on a drone service known as Amazon Prime Air for a faster-than-ever service for their customers. This will take their one-day delivery service to delivery in hours.
The delivery vehicle by Nuro, an Autonomous Robot Company, is gaining popularity for its delightful little robot meant for food delivery, specifically Pizza. This little Road Autonomous Robot has airbags on the outside to protect the obstacles that could be humans and other delicates.
The Postal Services is currently, most definitely, going through a revolution with these Autonomous robots roaming the streets and bringing people closer to their loved ones by consigning packages and letters to each other. These are already on the streets of Europe making a difference.
Taking a slight and relevant detour, there have been developments in di-engine nanorobots used in medicine as well.
They can now navigate, with self-propelling and self-adaptive capabilities, to inflamed sites in the human body to provide gastrointestinal inflammation therapy through enzyme macrophage switching.
Basically, a nanorobot that can go into the bloodstream to automatically locate and heal inflammation without human intervention.
There is a certain level of resistance to the advancement of this kind, especially the people who fear Frankenstein. There is no denying the possibility of a monster-trapping scenario considering how these machines do what they are told though, we have to believe that we are building a Baymax, a robotic nurse that will give up on its life to save yours.
To summarize, we have seen examples of driverless cars and the impact they might have on our society. We also know what features to expect from the Autonomous Robots meant for Personal Transportation and Delivery.
Consumers’ imaginations and billions of dollars worth of investment have recently been caught by the vision of fleets of autonomous vehicles safely transporting passengers to their destinations.
However, the mobility world still largely agrees that autonomous driving (AD) has the potential to alter transportation, consumer behavior, and society at large despite several failures that have delayed customer uptake and pushed back timetables for autonomous vehicle (AV) deployments.
Going further, we know that our roads will soon be filled with cute little robots delivering packages and food. Some places are already ecstatic with these little machines.
New AD technologies have the potential to significantly impact the vehicle industry, change the way people travel, and provide customers with new levels of convenience and safety. At the same time, there is a lot of uncertainty because of how quickly and dynamically the AD passenger vehicle industry is developing.
All businesses along the value chain for AD, from automakers and suppliers to technology companies, must have distinct, cohesive strategies. A focused value proposition, a clear view of where the industry is going (including well-developed scenarios that cover the next ten years at least), and knowledge of what customers want most might all be helpful to businesses looking to succeed in the autonomous passenger vehicle market.