Hyundai auto group partners with Woowa to develop autonomous delivery robots

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 19, 2021, 11:00 Updated : March 19, 2021, 11:00

[Courtesy of Woowa Brothers]

SEOUL -- In cooperation with Woowa Brothers, the frontrunner in food delivery services, South Korea's Hyundai auto group will develop autonomous delivery robots capable of traveling between floors in buildings of various structures and equipped with a payment service. 

Under a memorandum of understanding, Hyundai will develop robots and establish an integrated control system, while Woowa, the operator of South Korea's favorite food delivery app Baedal Minjok, is responsible for the service operation of robots.

"Robot delivery services can increase customer convenience, create very short-distance delivery demand in the contactless era, increase the profit of business owners, and reduce time in last-mile delivery," an unnamed Woowa official said in a statement on March 19. "We're confident that this cooperation with Hyundai will serve as an opportunity to upgrade the delivery industry."

Service robots have been widely adopted at hotels, hospitals, and other multi-purpose facilities to guide visitors, deliver room service, and help visitors check-in and out. Woowa has carried out a series of tests in controlled environments outdoors and indoors with Dilly, a lineup of delivery robots designed to carry food and groceries.

Woowa aims to commercialize a robot capable of traveling between floors to deliver food to the front door of each household. The final goal is to commercialize robots that can travel through crowded urban streets and react sensitively to the movements of automobiles, bicycles, children and pet dogs.

Hyundai has invested in logistics and service robots. In December 2020, Hyundai acquired Boston Dynamics, an American engineering and robotics design company known for Spot, a quadruped robot. In February 2021, the auto group revealed a leg-wheel robot that functions as a mobile scientific exploration platform in extreme, remote locations.

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