Your Next Neighborhood Mailman Might Not Be a Flying Drone
The Carry is a sidewalk robot can be bring your mail or deliver packages that drones simply can't carry
The Carry is an autonomous vehicle that looks like an oversized cooler with wheels. It can walk on sidewalks alongside pedestrians and come to your doorstep to deliver your mail. It’s designed to solve the logistic puzzle of the last mile and it can become your next neighborhood mailman.
For a moment, forget about drones dropping your packages to your backyard. Imagine this wheeled robot that rolls around like a self-navigating car except instead of carrying passengers, it can be delivering your orders from that neighborhood pizza joint or a box from Amazon.
Unlike drones, Carry is a hard worker capable of lugging around a hundred pounds of stuff at a time. With four secure compartments unlocking only when the recipient types in the code, it will make sure people get only what belongs to them.
The robot was designed by Dispatch, a startup formed by MIT computer vision experts Sonia Jin and Stav Braun and UPenn roboticist Uriah Baalke.
Co-founder Sonia Jin shares Dispatch’s immediate goals:
“Local delivery on private locales is a huge opportunity, and will be our first target market. We will scale out our business incrementally, locale by locale, and will be ready to deploy in public spaces as soon as regulations allow.”
Because the Carry is designed to take on pedestrian lanes and travel at low speeds instead of flying unmanned above human heads, safety regulations could be a bit more lax and make it easier to adapt to the mainstream.
Information on how the Carry works is minimal but given the background of the founders, its easy to imagine they use depth cameras to “see” humans and the ubiquitous GPS. The three founders met while working on 3D reconstruction algorithms, a crucial piece of technology when designing any self-navigating vehicle.
While the startup appears to have built a prototype in China, it has since returned to the United States. In 2016, the Carry will be rolling around in select university campuses in California.