June 7, 2019
According to a recent Mashable article, Amazon has been issued a patent by the USPTO for a robot that can retrieve packages from delivery trucks and deliver those packages to the doorstep of their rightful owners.
In the patent, Amazon demonstrates how the delivery process can be expedited by these retrieval robots that dock in your home, ready and waiting for the delivery truck to arrive on your street. When the truck does arrive, the robots leave their indoor perch to go outside and fetch your packages, delivering them right back to your door.
These live-in robots are referred to as “autonomous ground vehicles”, or “AVGs” for short. The patent envisions these AGVs being owned by individual users and/or by groups of users located in a given area, such as residents of an apartment building or neighbourhood. Amazon even anticipates these AGVs having the capability to open and close access barriers such as front doors and garage doors.
These AGVs are not totally unlike Amazon’s previously-unveiled delivery robot known as Scout, according to an article by The Spoon. Scout is a six-wheeled robot built to travel along sidewalks and deliver packages on its way. The main difference between the live-in AGVs and six-wheeled Scout lies in the ownership model – the AGVs, unlike Scout, are intended to be owned by consumers instead of by Amazon, and would service only one specified home or location instead of many different homes and locations.
Authors: Jaclyn Tilak and Anna Condon