Rappi’s pilot launch of delivery robots to carry restaurant food

Colombian e-commerce startup Rappi began last week pilot launch of making deliveries through robots for being a safer way of delivering food to people stuck at their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The startup picked Colombia’s second-largest city of Medellin to start the pilot launch. The four-wheel box-shaped robots with orange flags stick to their antennae have capacity of taking deliveries of size up to 35 square centimeters (5 square inches) and these will be used in carrying restaurant orders made online.  

After efficiently completing the last mile deliveries, robots have to go through a disinfection process before and after each trip, said Rappi in a last week statement at the time of launching the project. The robots used in pilot launch are being operated by Rappi in collaboration with KiwiBot, a U.S.-based startup delivering food items mostly through autonomous robots in California.

At Rappi, we are in believes that making use of technology will help us moving forward to our safety goals  while making lives of people easier, especially in current scenario of coronavirus pandemic from which whole world has currently been going through, Rappi’s Colombia country manager Matias Laks said in the statement.

Rappi has been making about 120 deliveries every day in with a fleet of 15 robots, the startup said.

The firm is in intentions of running the pilot till July and if it would remain successful then it will roll it out to other cities where it has been operating.

Having nearly 200,000 distributors spread across nine Latin American countries, Rappi successfully posted a year-on-year increase of 30% in its deliveries during the first two months of January and February 2020, when lockdown was not implemented yet.

In 2019, Rappi, eyeing on many planned financial services beyond delivery, joined hands with Visa Inc to offer prepaid cards in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico.