Skip to content
  • KOSPI 3217.21 +14.89 +0.46%
  • KOSDAQ 1036.15 +5.01 +0.49%
  • KOSPI200 425.91 +2.00 +0.47%
  • USD/KRW 1147.5 0.10 0.01%
  • JPY100/KRW 1,045.61 -2.87 -0.27%
  • EUR/KRW 1,361.57 -3.03 -0.22%
  • CNH/KRW 177.57 0.45 0.25%
View Market Snapshot

Delivery robots

Hyundai, Woowa Brothers tie up to develop last-mile delivery robot

By Mar 19, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Woowa Brothers' food delivery robot Delidrive
Woowa Brothers' food delivery robot Delidrive

Hyundai Motor Group and Woowa Brothers Corp., the country’s top food delivery app operator, have agreed to jointly develop delivery robots capable of traveling through various building structures and equipped with a payment service.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed on Mar. 19, Hyundai Motor Co. said their immediate goal is to develop a last-mile delivery robot that can deliver food and other goods from the entrance of an apartment complex to the front door of a particular household.

And eventually, both sides aim to build a completely autonomous robotic delivery system, in which a robot can move independently from a transportation hub or restaurant to its final destination.

“The need for robot delivery services is rapidly growing in the contactless era. Our cooperation in this area will contribute to the advancement of a human-centered mobility service,” Hyundai said in a statement.

‘DELIDRIVE’ TO CRUISE THROUGH URBAN TERRAIN

Under the MOU, Hyundai Motor and its sister firm Kia Corp. will advance the technology of Woowa Brothers’ food delivery robot Delidrive and build an integrated real-time robot control system.

Hyundai Motor, Woowa Brothers sign MOU on developing food delivery robot.
Hyundai Motor, Woowa Brothers sign MOU on developing food delivery robot.

Woowa, the owner of Korea’s top food delivery app Baedal Minjok, commonly known as Baemin, will be responsible for running the autonomous delivery system through its network.

Once fully realized, the automated delivery system will allow Delidrive to travel through crowded urban streets, move between buildings with various structural features and even use the elevator from the first floor of a building for the last-mile delivery to each household, according to the companies.

For the launch of the delivery system, Woowa Brother signed an initial agreement with HDC I-Controls Co. and Hyundai Elevator Co.

The delivery app operator has already been running a pilot test of its last-mile robot delivery service since July of 2020 in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.

“The Seoul city government is thought to be easing regulations on delivery robots for use in the southern district from 2023,” said a local IT industry official.

HYUNDAI’S GROWING INTEREST IN ROBOTICS

Hyundai Motor has shown growing interest in automated vehicle technology and robotics in recent years, and said it will invest up to 1.5 trillion won ($1.4 billion) in robotics by 2025.

Woowa Brothers' food delivery robot Delidrive
Woowa Brothers' food delivery robot Delidrive
Chairman Chung Euisun set up Hyundai Robotics within the group in 2018 as its then executive vice chairman. The following year, the automotive group invested in the autonomous vehicle startup 42dot and Realtime Robotics, a Boston-based startup.

Chung has publicly said that robotics will account for 20% of the group's future business, with automobiles taking up half of its sales, followed by urban air mobility (UAM) at 30%.

As part of such efforts, Hyundai acquired US robotics firm Boston Dynamics Inc. from SoftBank Group for $880 million in December last year.

Last month, the automotive group also unveiled its first unmanned ultimate mobility vehicle (UMV) concept, called Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot (TIGER).

TIGER can carry goods for delivery, or be deployed to deliver aid packages in emergency situations. Leg-wheel articulation enables TIGER to tackle a range of extreme situations, while keeping the payload more level than a typical ground vehicle, according to Hyundai.

Write to Min-Ki Koo and Sun A Lee at kook@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

Comment 0

0/300