17 Jun
Teleretail's On-Demand Delivery Robot Teleretail's On-Demand Delivery Robot

Teleretail's On-Demand Delivery Robot

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Teleretail AG,a Swiss-based startup, has entered the growing field of drone delivery by infusing its device with a unique capability -- to deliver to suburban and rural areas while also reaching customers in cities.

Teleretail's robot incorporates several features of self-driving cars, including GPS navigation systems, sensors, and computer vision systems. Far as financing is concerned, though, the company hasn't raised any seed or venture capital cash, opting instead to pursue grants, like one for $2 million from the European Space Agency.

Company CEO Thorsten Scholl tells TechCrunch that the space agency took a special interest in the ways in which Teleretail was using information from satellites to assist ground-based systems in giving directions to drones while making deliveries or pickups.

In order to make money, says Scholl, “We think of ourselves as a consumer app that applies [robotics] to local logistics. We could envision a subscription-based model where a consumer can subscribe to the delivery service, or a store could subscribe to it in order to make deliveries that its employees cannot make in person.”

The central goals of the delivery service are to help small and more mainstream businesses compete with e-commerce behemoths like Amazon -- especially in making the pick-up and delivery processes more convenient.

“We also have a great drive to help seniors live well, independently, as they age,” Scholl adds. “This kind of technology helps them send their own kind of Mars rover out to drop off the dry cleaning or pick up groceries.”

Scholl believes that his company's device will one day be permitted to roam on streets on highways, not just crosswalks and sidewalks -- and, over long distances in a variety of weather conditions.

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Read 3088 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 01:51
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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