UAE to trial food delivery smart robots in Dubai villa community

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The UAE has launched a pilot program in a Dubai neighborhood for autonomous food delivery robots to achieve more efficient last-mile logistics.

The trial will see three ‘talabots’ around the Cedre Villas community in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), a government-owned freezone and integrated technology park in the economic hub of the UAE.

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The robots will travel within a three-kilometer radius from the Cedre Shopping Center for 15-minute deliveries.

Regarding safety and privacy, the robots to be deployed will “safeguard people’s identity by blurring faces with no facial recognition detection feature,” the RTA said in a statement.

The robots are fitted with sensors that can gauge its surroundings and detect stationary and moving barriers in its way.

The launch is reportedly a direct result of the Dubai World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport.

The move comes as Dubai pursues a switch to smart, driverless transportation, with the aim to covert 25 percent of its current mobility options to autonomous alternatives by 2030.

Last year, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority started digitally mapping the city’s roads, collecting data for Cruise’s self-driving vehicles ahead of its commercial launch expected this year.

In October last year, a flying two-seater car soared over Dubai’s skyline during Gitex 2022 – the city’s annual flagship technology event – during a demonstration of the future of travel – a nod to the city’s driverless, smart ambitions for mobility solutions. The unmanned vehicle completed its historic 90-minute test flight, soaring above a crowd of spectators.

Smart robots are not new to the Dubai tech scene. During the flagship international Expo 2020, Terminus deployed more than 150 programmable robots to interact with visitors at the mega event.

Serving as goodwill ambassador, the kid-friendly robots featured multi-touch displays, 5G network capability, AI-driven object mapping and object detection.

At the time, Talabat partnered with Terminus and launched autonomous food delivery robots for point-to-point delivery. The robots were designed to ferry orders from Talabat’s two-story cloud kitchen for customers at designated delivery points in the Expo site.

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