Japan Post Co unveiled to the press Wednesday a self-driving mail delivery robot, the first of its kind on a public road in Japan, as demand grows for minimizing human contact amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Using built-in cameras and sensors, the robot — which is the size of a wheelchair — operated on a sidewalk in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, dodging obstacles such as utility poles, and crossed an intersection with traffic lights.
The red-colored DeliRo robot developed by ZMP Inc. is capable of carrying packages weighing up to 30 kilograms at a speed of 6 kilometers per hour, according to Japan Post, which aims to put the self-driving posting vehicles into practical use in fiscal 2021.
Japan is also stepping up its push for autonomous delivery services in the hope they will alleviate the acute shortage of labor in the rapidly aging country.
I – Word Understanding
Dodge – to avoid
Alleviate – to reduce or lessen
Acute – critical or severe
II – Have Your Say
1, In this pandemic situation, how are mails delivered to your home?
Would you say it is safe for both you and the mailman?
2, What are the benefits if mail is delivered by this robot instead of a mailman?
3, What are the possible challenges this mail delivery robot will encounter? (pedestrian, stairs/elevator, vehicles, etc)
4, In the United States, automated robots are being used to make house deliveries of things such as medicines and groceries. What kind of deliveries do you think robots can do better than humans?