Having your groceries delivered by a robot? Before that will be normal, there are still many elements to investigate. That's why a pilot started on campus Woudestein on 1 December. Delivery robot Rosie (Robot On SIte Erasmus) made her first trip under the watchful eye of the public, delivering a coke, a sandwich and a banana.
In the next six months, Rosie will deliver groceries from campus shop SPAR to staff and students. The pilot is intended to gain experience and to learn from the interaction between humans and robots. This will provide more insight into how delivery robots can play a role in our daily lives. It is the first time that a robot is used to deliver groceries to staff, students and residents on the Woudestein campus.
The Cartken delivery robot trial is a collaboration between the Municipality of Rotterdam, Metropolitan Region Rotterdam Den Haag, Erasmus University Rotterdam, SPAR University and Dutch Automated Mobility (DAM). The pilot is in line with Erasmus University's strategy to create social impact.
Prof. Liesbet van Zoonen (Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences): "We are very interested in this pilot. Our students will have the opportunity to study the interaction between humans and robots from up close. Also, with a view to innovation and sustainability, we think it’s important to investigate smart delivery in more detail." The university campus is compact and conveniently arranged and therefore an ideal testing ground. It offers the cooperating parties the opportunity to gain initial experience with real-life situations.
"Our students will have the opportunity to study the interaction between humans and robots from up close."
Knowledge and innovation
Gaining insight into technology and regulations is the main reason for the municipality of Rotterdam to participate in the pilot. "The growth and planned densification of Rotterdam and the climate challenges demand smart and clean solutions in mobility, also in urban logistics. Innovations such as delivery robots can play a role in this. We are investigating what this role is and how it can contribute to our policy goals and measures, such as the Zero Emission Zone for City Logistics that will be introduced in Rotterdam in 2025," says Rosemarijn de Jong, advisor for Smart Mobility at the municipality of Rotterdam.
Knowledge and innovation are also high on the agenda for the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH). Innovation in traffic is necessary in order to achieve the accessibility and sustainability targets. "The knowledge and experience gained from the pilot project are very valuable to us. Marjolein Steinebach, Manager of Economic Establishment Climate at the MRDH, says: "The knowledge and experience gained from the pilot project are very valuable to us, also with a view to economic activity and the development or continued development of such systems.
Due to the ever-increasing demand for food delivery, SPAR university sees opportunities for delivery robots. Karlijn Kortenhorst, Marketing Hero at SPAR university: "It is important for us to see how our customers react to this service. We will also look at how we can integrate robot delivery into the daily shop operation. From there we will investigate whether robot delivery fits our concept and whether it can be an innovative business model."