7-Eleven robots to start making deliveries at 1 apartment complex
7-Eleven is testing a delivery robot.
The test will be conducted at the Seocho Central I'Park apartment complex in Seocho District, southern Seoul, from next Monday.
The delivery robot, named Neubie, is able to drive at a speed of 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles) per hour. It can carry up to 25 kilograms (55.12 pounds) and can deliver within a 100-meter (328 foot) radius.
People who place an order at 7-Eleven with apps like Yogiyo can receive the product through Neubie. But they have to pick up the package outside the apartment building. The robot will not go to the door of the apartment itself.
Customers pick up the products after scanning a QR code on the robot.
It costs 3,000 won ($2.5) to get products delivered by the robot, the same price as deliveries by a human. But 7-Eleven is offering a promotion for robot delivery until the robot is able to motor right to the doors of customers, according to Lim Do-hyun, a spokesperson for 7-Eleven.
People using the robot will receive gift vouchers.
The convenience store franchise has been working with Neubility since August to get the robot working. The two plan to increase the distance the robot is able to deliver to a 300-meter radius.
Neubility, which was founded in 2017, develops robotics software. Kakao is an investor.
“The Neubie robot is able to recognize and avoid obstacles in the city as it is equipped with a multi-camera system and features technologies that have various sensors,” said a spokesperson for Neubility.
7-Eleven said this is the first attempt by a convenience store to adopt an automatic driving robot for making deliveries outside. But it is not the first company in Korea to test outdoor delivery robots.
Last year, Woowa Brothers, which runs food delivery app Baedal Minjok, tested an outdoor robot delivery service in the Gwanggyo Alleyway shopping complex in Suwon, Gyeonggi.
“We will build a successful delivery service model as the demand is projected to grow,” said a spokesperson for 7-Eleven in a statement, vowing to “focus more on innovation that can raise convenience and profit of franchisees using digital technologies.”
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]