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Woowa Brothers to demonstrate food delivery robots on streets of Gangnam

By Park Sae-jin Posted : November 7, 2023, 18:01 Updated : November 7, 2023, 18:01
Courtesy of Woowa Brothers
[Courtesy of Woowa Brothers]

SEOUL -- Woowa Brothers, the operator of the popular food delivery service app Bamin, will test the efficacy of five six-wheeled robots on the streets of Gangnam, a southern Seoul district famous for rapper Psy’s 2012 global hit song "Gangnam Style."

Baemin first started the demonstration of its delivery robots by deploying "Dilly," the service robot, to a campus in eastern Seoul in late 2019. The company later developed delivery robots that can carry drinks and snacks up and down floors by using elevators. Dilly was also deployed to an apartment complex in Suwon City south of Seoul to deliver food inside the complex.

Woowa Brothers' upgraded its robot businesses to develop other versions of Dilly that are designed to carry hot food and drinks from a restaurant or café's kitchen to customers' tables. When a customer makes an order using a digital kiosk located on his or her table, Dilly will carry food by navigating through the restaurant. The robot can detect and avoid obstacles such as tables, chairs, and other customers.

Woowa Brothers said that the company partnered with Seoul City, Gangnam District, state-operated land information company LX, LG Electronics, and World Trade Center Seoul, to form a consortium for the robot demonstration project in Gangnam. For the first step of the project, Dilly robots will carry food from restaurants located at Starfield COEX Mall, a gigantic underground shopping mall, to nearby buildings. Customers can pick up delivered foods at designated areas.

As part of the preparation for the robot delivery demonstration, the consortium introduced delivery robots inside the COEX mall in August 2022 and tower-shaped robots in October. The taller version of Dilly can use elevators to reach its destination by communicating with building infrastructure including elevators and corridor sensors.

The Dilly that will be deployed for operation on the streets of Gangnam can carry up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of food inside a 25.6-liter (about one cubic foot) container. The delivery robot was designed to have its container positioned at a height of 720 millimeters (28.3 inches) so that customers do not put too much stress on their backs when they pick up their food from the robot.

"We hope this demonstration becomes a window for the acceleration of the development of delivery robot technologies and expansion of the food delivery service market," Woowa Brothers' Chief Technical Officer Song Jae-ha said in a statement.

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