Berlin – A strange vehicle has been driving through Berlin since Friday: a large box on wheels crosses the sidewalk of Spandauer Damm in the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. It has two headlights that resemble eyes and is packed with modern technology. Here the pizza robot delivers!
Daniel Richart (38) worked on the software with his team for eight years. The physicist is the CEO of the Berlin company Teraki (50 employees). Specialty: autonomous driving. But you don’t have to start with the big sedan right away.
“The robot does not replace any employee,” says Richart. “It’s an extra offer. A lot of delivery services have trouble finding people.”
The delivery robot drives independently along the sidewalks of Charlottenburg. The area of operation is approximately one kilometer from the Domino’s pizza delivery service branch. When the customer arrives, they have to enter a numerical code to open the loading zone.
The vehicle, which costs less than 50,000 euros, is designed to recognize obstacles and red lights. Four cameras, four radar devices, a lidar scanner and four ultrasonic sensors ensure a safe journey.
There is room for ten pizzas in the cellar. Maximum speed: 6km/h. The vehicle takes about ten minutes to travel one kilometer. The robot learns with each meter of travel.
It is the first delivery robot to have the necessary permits to operate in public spaces, making it the only robot in Germany that works on sidewalks, and not in a closed area.
However, a remote-controlled employee still has to accompany the robot. In an emergency, he can intervene. Daniel Richart expects approval for fully autonomous operation to be granted no later than June.
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