Skip to main content

Autonomous, self-loading and unloading ground-based robots

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ELIPORT (Autonomous, self-loading and unloading ground-based robots)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2019-07-31

Despite rapid advancements in the way that we receive packages, current last mile delivery solutions are still antiquated in comparison to the technology that has been deployed in other sectors of the industry. This causes PROBLEMS: for end
consumers (failed deliveries, damaged items), for businesses (unsustainable costs for delivery) and for society and the environment (traffic congestion, pollution).

To solve this, Eliport is creating a fleet of AUTONOMOUS ground-based ROBOTS. They will travel in pedestrian spaces in order to cover the distance between the pick-up point (e.g final logistics point) and the drop-off point (e.g the customer’s home). The robot will be intelligent because software will allow it to do its delivery duties, orient in the environment and be a smart participant in human traffic.

We are also developing a delivery receptacle. This trunk or gate system will be installed at/in customer’s premises and will only be accessible to Eliport autonomous robots, the intended recipient of the delivery or somebody with a unique code for each trunk/gate (e.g courier, mailman). With this PATENT-PENDING delivery system we are aiming to completely remove the human from the delivery process.

The ELIPORT system has many different potential use cases that vary in technical difficulty: limited open environments such as gated communities, closed industrial environments like warehouses and factories, public industrial environments such as airports and hospitals and finally fully open environments like typical suburban or urban residences. The first target market will be gated-communities in the EU and USA that contain primary residences.

The feasibility will determine three key requirements for further project execution: i) if the market conditions favor ELIPORT, ii) if the solution has reached the maturity needed to proceed to further product development and iii) if the company has the necessary resources to move on to the next phase.
The objectives defined for Phase 1 have been successfully achieved. Eliport Robotics has gained the relevant knowledge about the ground-based autonomous robotics market and it has conducted a detailed competitor analysis targeting continental (Europe) and international areas. Together with the feedback of potential customers, our initial product idea has been slightly modified and the business plan has been duly updated. A suitable architecture is proposed and the necessary assessment of technical aspects has been completed. The feasibility of combining autonomous ground-based robots with the capability to load or unload its cargo without human intervention has been validated. Risks have been also evaluated and the overall conclusion is that Eliport-2 is achievable within a 2-year timeframe.

The feasibility study brought a lot of results and research conclusions to Eliport: extensive technical and sales tests-and-trials, adaptation of technical and business propositions, finding new markets, establishing a niche to conquer. But most importantly the study period brought first clients to the company that is proving one more time the business direction, the technology potential and that we are experiencing only the beginning of the new big era of robotic service automation and whole the industry warming up. Right now Eliport is starting to develop the robot for the clients in Spain and Saudi Arabia and expecting to deliver first units before March 2020.
Whilst some competitors are focusing on ADVs (autonomous delivery vehicles), none of them have proposed a solution that enables the ADV to load or unload its cargo without human intervention. This, in our eyes, provides an incomplete solution and something that gives us a very unique selling point and competitive advantage over them.

In addition to creating autonomous robots, we will also be developing a delivery receptacle, referred to as a ‘trunk’ and a compatible gate system. This trunk or gate system will be installed at/in customer’s homes and will only be accessible to Eliport autonomous robots, the intended recipient of the delivery or somebody with a unique code for each trunk/gate (e.g courier, mailman). With this delivery system we are aiming to completely remove the human from the delivery process. In such a way the delivery can happen at any time of the day (or night) and even when nobody is at home (but being at work for example). We believe it will completely change the delivery industry and the ordering/delivery human habits. The cost of delivery will significantly decline and the delivery will be possible to be made even when it was not possible before (night time, weekends, holidays, religious work limitation days, etc.).
eliport.jpg