Friday, October 22, 2021

Robots to deliver meals on wheels at Dubai Expo to reduce human contact

From flying cabs to robo cops and superfast hyperloop transport, Dubai has never hidden its ambition of evolving into a city of the future, as it continues to integrate more smart solutions into everyday lives for residents. Hosting the biggest tech event in the aftermath of the pandemic has also created a platform for the Middle Eastern tech hub to showcase innovation that it seeks to add to the infrastructure in years to come.

From providing medical care at hospitals to sanitising public spaces and stepping in as guardians for pets, robots have been known to perform various roles in the Emirates over the past year. With over 150 droids all set to help visitors explore innovation at the Expo 2020 site, the region’s food delivery major has also roped in autonomous robots on wheels to dish out nutritious meals for tech enthusiasts at the event.

The self-driving compact vehicles will be delivering food from a two storeyed, tech-equipped cloud kitchen, to designated drop off points for Talabat. Food will be locked inside containers attached to the robots, which can only be unlocked by the customer using a QR code or through a unique ID, in order to maintain food safety.

This service which reduces human contact at the Expo site, is the product of a collaboration between the food delivery platform, and Chinese robot maker Terminus. Developed to address shortage of riders as well, the system will also be applied to other parts of the UAE in the future beyond Expo.

Delivery options at the event also include 3D printed lockers which can be unlocked via QR codes, and robots will also be serving customised beverages at select pavilions. Among them, the Chinese section at the Expo will also be featuring a robo-panda, which will flaunt tai chi skills and the ability to paint for visitors.

Dubai is among cities in the Middle East, which are about to receive autonomous delivery vehicles this year, while similar tech is being tested in Qatar.

Image: Shutterstock

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