No tip required: Robots deliver to your door

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No tip required: Robots deliver to your door

A Dilly Tower robot delivers food to models at an apartment building in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul. [WOOWA BROTHERS]

A Dilly Tower robot delivers food to models at an apartment building in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul. [WOOWA BROTHERS]

 
Baedal Minjok, Korea's largest food delivery app, started a robot delivery service in three apartment buildings in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul.
 
For lucky residents, their meals will be delivered by Dilly Tower, a 1.08-meter tall robot with a face like an excited emoji.   
 
Woowa Brothers, which runs Baedal Minjok, said Monday that Dilly Tower had started deliveries to almost 300 residents in Yeongdeungpo. 
 
One Dilly Tower is on duty in each of the three buildings, and they operate without any human help. Delivery times are supposed to be 5 to 16 minutes shorter than before, according to the company.  
 
Here is how Dilly Tower works.  
 
Dilly Tower waits for the Baedal Minjok delivery driver at the entrance of the building. The delivery driver enters the order number to unlock the robot’s shelf compartment.  
 
The food is placed inside the compartment, and Dilly Tower heads for the elevator. The robot can communicate with the elevator wirelessly through the LTE network.  
 
When Dilly Tower arrives at the apartment of the customer, an alert is sent to the customer through an app. After the customer enters the order number, Dilly Tower's shelf compartment opens. Delivery is complete -- no tip required!  
 
Dilly Tower can carry up to 20 kilograms and reach speeds of up to 1.2 meters per second.  
 
Woowa Brothers pays all the costs of operating Dilly Tower in the buildings.  
 
Woowa Brothers said it is teaming up with construction companies to place more Dilly Towers in other residential and office buildings.
 
The company believes “stricter social distancing regulations that started Monday will help raise demand for the use of Dilly Tower as people prefer contactless delivery over concerns about the spread of Covid-19,” said Lee Yoon-seong, a spokesperson for Woowa Brothers.  
 
Telecommunications firms have rolled out similar services.  
 
SK Telecom, the largest telecom in Korea, started operating Servinggo, a food-serving robot, at Hotel Inter-Burgo in Daegu on June 27. KT offers a similar service at around 20 hotels in Korea.  
 
“The robot business is part of telecom companies’ effort to find a new business model as the ICT industry merges,” said Choi Jong-bok, a spokesperson for SK Telecom.
 
 

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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