Woowa Brothers, operator of the South Korean food delivery app Baedal Minjok, started to use its improved outdoor delivery robot “Dilly Drive” at a residential and commercial complex, paving the way to a new era into South Korea’s food delivery service industry.
The six-wheeled outdoor delivery robots’ installation came after a test run last November in 2019 at the Konkuk University in Seoul.
In early August, Woowa Brothers partnered with SK Telecom to develop 5G-powered delivery robots. Last June, the company also collaborated with LG Electronics and the Korea Institute for Robot Industry and Advancement (KIRIA) to create and improve robots for the food service industry.
The outdoor delivery robot dubbed the “Dilly Drive” would assist residents and visitors in the Gwanggyo Alley Way complex. Woowa would operate the robots from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout August, eventually increasing the hours of operation.
Through autonomous driving, Dilly Drive could travel from a restaurant’s entrance to only the entrance of the apartments. Still, Woowa said it would improve its food delivery system, making it capable of driving up to each home’s front door by the first half of next year.
Customers could place orders through the app, Baedal Minjok, or scan QR codes attached to outdoor tables. Then, the Dilly Drive Robot would drive from its station to the restaurant. The robot starts the delivery when the restaurant staff places the food and presses the ‘go’ button on the robot.
The customers could trace Dilly Drive in real-time and receive updates within 100 meters of the robot’s current location.
Dilly Drive runs at a speed of up to five kilometers per hour, carrying and delivering up to 12 drinks or six lunch boxes at the same time. In a single charge, the robot could operate for eight hours and comes with lights for evening driving.
Room for Improvement
Kim Yo-seob, Woowa Brothers Robot Business Development head, stated that accurate technology and service expertise could make commercialization possible. However, outdoor delivery service robots still face different factors affecting general delivery operations.
Unexpected situations such as road conditions, weather, and various obstacles could impede the delivery route, which makes Woowa carry on the improvement of delivery robot service.
Woowa installed various safety measures to ensure safe driving, such as running at low speeds in populated areas, checking road conditions and moving routes of people, and stopping at crosswalks.