A Yeti unattended robot could be in your delivery future


Robot delivery service provider Ottonomy demonstrated its new autonomous unattended delivery robot called Ottobot Yeti for reporters at CES 2023 on Wednesday.

The 200-pound robot can deliver groceries and packages with two compartments to make separate unique stops.  It is designed for curbside and last mile delivery jobs.  It runs on lidar and cameras for sensing and has four wheels with independent steering for easy maneuvering in tight spots.

For an unattended delivery, the robot lifts a rear door and an internal shelf is automatically raised at an angle to allow the package to slide out and drop to the ground, at what is considered an acceptable height of 16 inches.

A year ago at CES 2022, Ottonomy showed off its earlier generation of Ottobot that has been used for airports and retail and restaurant deliveries. CEO Ritukar Vijay said the investor-supported company has grown to 14 locations, including airports in Cincinnatti and Pittsburgh and locations abroad. The biggest challenge the startup faces is keeping up with demand, he said.

“All this growth is possible because the market demand is huge,” he said. Many companies needing to make deliveries cannot find the necessary labor, which is still the situation amid concerns about inflation and possible recession.

Ottonomy sells its service based on reducing the cost of traditional deliveries by half, which can vary from $2 to $8 for each delivery.

Against the backdrop of some large companies like Amazon and FedEx backing off delivery robot projects, Vijay said Ottonomy has seen success because it is so specialized on its technology compared to big companies that have investments in multiple tech sectors. “We have one mission,” he said. “Autonomous takes a lot of focus.”

Ottonomy relies on Nvidia Jetson processors and uses Verizon as a 5G provider.

In the first quarter of 2022, he said the company contracted with one customers, which grew to 12 customers in the fourth quarter.  IN 2023, he said growth could mushroom by 10 to 15 times.

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