We are Creating the Future of the Delivery Workforce

Delivery Robot

Type: 

Multiple Commercial Projects Based on Delivery Robot 

Product Manager, UX Designer

Roles: 

90+ People Department of Segway Robotics

Team:

February 2018 - July 2019

Time: 

Story about Delivery Robot

What’s the Difference between Product for Customers and for Business?

Before working on Delivery Robot, I had mainly focused on the exploration of products for customers. Different from product for customers, product for business like Delivery Robot is driven by different business projects.

In the past 12 months, I have engaged in:

Takeout Delivery Project
Express Delivery Project
Direct Delivery from Merchant

We also find real use scenarios for Delivery Robot, in which they can serve people as a transport force.

We cooperated with well-known takeaway and express companies, and conducted product trials in multiple real locations in Beijing Shanghai and Hangzhou.We are still working on the development of Delivery Robot, to bring life-change service to people.

 

And now I want to share 2 Stories about Delivery Robot with you. 

Story 1. 

The Takeout Business

 

Our robots are designed to run indoors, we aim to solve the real indoor transportation scene for the robot.

WHY TAKEOUT

Situation

In order to solve the problem of lunch, many employees choose to order takeouts as their lunch. The nearby restaurant receives countless orders every day, and the delivery from the restaurant to the customer is completed by the delivery couriers.

 

However, this process consists of some tedious and time-consuming links.

Scenario 1:

Shopping Mail Restaurants

In order to solve the problem of lunch, many employees choose to order takeouts as their lunch. The nearby restaurant receives countless orders every day, and the delivery from the restaurant to the customer is completed by the delivery couriers.

Each take-away platform will arrange for the rider to wait for the take-out order to be completed in restaurants. Usually during the lunchtime period, a rider will wait for 20 minutes for each delivery.

Scenario 2:

Orderers in Office Building

In order to solve the problem of lunch, many employees choose to order takeouts as their lunch. Due to the strict management of the office building, the delivery couriers can only wait for the employees outside the office building after the arrival. This process usually takes 10-20min.

WHAT CAN ROBOTS DO

By using robots at these two time-consuming points, we can highly enhance the effectiveness of takeaway delivery. Using the data model, we estimate the robot can save 1/3 of the delivery time for each order.

FROM CONCEPT TO BUSINESS - MVP (Minimum Viable Product )

To achieve the goal of save 1/3 of the delivery time for each order. We started working on process design and software development. And the MVP (Minimum Viable Product ) seemed to be the best way to verify the business possibility.

 

We work with China's largest takeaway platform: Meituan, which allows us to test in real-life scenarios. We choose the Chaoyang Dayue Mail, Beijing as the pilot to test robot initial flow in Scene 1.

Challenges in MVP:

Chaoyang Dayue Mail used a special type of elevator, so it is more difficult for robot to control the elevator.

To achieve verification quickly and complete the MVP, we used manpower to replace this link, arranged a transferman to completed the delivery in elevator.

WIREFRAME

IN REAL SCENARIO

MVP RESULT

After a two-month MVP, we verified the possibility of using indoor-delivered robot in scenario 1.  Proved the robot service can achieve goal of save 1/3 of the delivery time for each order.

​You can check our Demo in this video:

Story 2. 

 

THE INNOVATION IN EXPRESS

Express courier arrive office building, put packages in robots then leave. Robot will auto-navigate to each office and contact the staff to get there package. 

Express courier arrive office building, contact the staff thought phone, wait them get the package outside the building. This process usually takes 25-30min.

DESIGN CHALLENGES

  1. Takeout business models and operation flow cannot meet the express delivery business. 

  2. The existing robot container capacity is too small for express delivery business (the daily express volume is huge, hundreds of packages need to be delivered every day).

  3. New business model depends on container capacity, the stronger the capacity, the fewer transportation times, the higher robot system efficiency.

RESEARCH

To obtain data, support container capacity expansion and innovate operation flow, I organized a detailed research of current express business of the selected pilot.

The Pilot

I chose an office building close to our company for express data research: B6, Dongsheng Keji. This office building is divided into 3 department building, including 20 companies, from start-ups (IT, e-commerce) and traditional companies (environmental protection, energy). Is a typical pilot. 

In the existing delivery service, the couriers of each express company deliver the packages at one location. After arriving at the location, couriers contact the recipient  to pick up the packages at this location.

Research Method: How Many Transportation Times for Present Container

Simulate the size of existing cabinets and measure the amount of express delivery per company per day, from each express platform.

The research including 6 express delivery platform: 

Data Sample

Data Analysis

Conclusions:

On Monday, the volume is larger than other day, and about 52 robotic cabinets are required to complete the delivery.
On Tuesday-Thursday, about 38 robotic cabinets are required to complete the delivery.

Couriers' Time Table

The time couriers spends at the company's waiting place downstairs

Summary Conclusion:

Delivery time is concentrated at 10:00-11:00 in the morning and 15:30-17:00 in the afternoon.
The gap between the platforms is not large, and the basic difference is 10-20min.
The morning is particularly compact and large in size.


If SF has replenishment, it will be delivered in time, and the delivery time will be more scattered.

All couriers hope that the packages can be delivered in time, morning packages delivered in the morning, afternoon packages delivered in the afternoon, to avoid complaints from the recipient.

PROTOTYPE & RE-RESEARCH

Data Model of Package Size Scale:

Exploring the cabinet expansion based on data:

- File: 32CM*26CM

- 1 Size:20CM*18CM*10CM

- 2 Size:25CM*20CM*18CM

- 3 Size:30CM*20CM*20CM

- 4 Size:35CM*30CM*26CM

- S Size:13CM*80CM*90CM

- Soft Packages

Innovative Concept

1. Keep outer container rigid and divide it into several layers, each separated by a hard partition.
2. The inner part of each layer is divided by a box of flexible material, and the three sides of the door are respectively corresponding to one flexible row separating bag. According to the amount of on-site parts, it is possible to share three layers of space or one space.
3. The overall height of the cabinet is increased by one layer on the existing basis to increase the volume, and up to nine companies can be sent.

Make a Prototype & Re-research 

HOW ABOUT THE REDESIGN?

With redesign of robot cabinets, the capacity was extended, and the space utilization rate was increased by 178%.

On Monday, the volume is larger than other day, and about 20 robotic cabinets are required to complete the delivery.
On Tuesday-Thursday, about 15 robotic cabinets are required to complete the delivery.

Industrial Redesign

Volume increase 1.6 times

Packages of up to nine companies can be sent with single robot.

Currently the redesigned cabinets of the express robot is in production, we will use the updated robot to delivery packages in the office building.

Design by Lai Wei © 2020