The ‘Google of Russia’ has built a fleet of self-driving food-delivery robots

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Russia’s answer to Google has announced it’s bringing out self-driving delivery robots.

The Russian search-engine giant Yandex said in a Medium post that it has retooled the self-driving technology from its autonomous-vehicle research to build “Rover,” a little six-wheeled delivery robot the size of a briefcase. The company has apparently been testing the robot on its Moscow campus.

“We are first using Rover with Yandex team members to ensure our delivery robot is as safe, reliable, and user-friendly as possible,” the post says.

Rover can travel up to a speed of 5 kph.

While Rover is able to navigate by itself, it has a remote operator monitoring its progress.

“In the future, we envision Yandex.Rover automating last-mile delivery for millions of Yandex users, presenting an efficient and economical way to deliver goods from relevant services throughout our ecosystem,” the company said, though it was not specific as to when people could expect to see Rover out and about in the wild.

Yandex said it planned to integrate the robots with its food-delivery app Yandex.Eats and grocery-delivery platform Yandex.Lavka.

The six-wheeled robots bear a resemblance to both those built by startup Starship Technologies — which operates on three US university campuses and is looking to expand to 100 in the next two years — and Amazon’s Scout robot, which was unveiled in January.


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