Continental is mostly known around the world for its tyres, but at CES 2019 it turned out to be one of the manufacturers that presented the most innovative technology. The German automotive firm wants to solve the problem of the last metre in package delivery replacing people with autonomous bots. In a pursuit to achieve this, Continental has unveiled robot delivery dogs at CES 2019 which will deliver packages to customers' doorstep.
Continental partnered with robotics company ANYbotics to further its research into the future of mobility and re-imagine package delivery. The manufacturer demonstrated the robot dogs at the consumer electronics show of how a ANYbotics' four-legged robot could jump out of the back of a self-driving delivery truck and carry the package right to the customer's doorstep.
— Sean O'Kane (@sokane1) January 10, 2019
The robot dog can walk over debris in the garden or stairs to the porch and then ring the doorbell with one of its limbs. It then tips the package off its back and as an added bonus, does a little victory dance.
Legged robots as delivery boys sound like a plausible new way of efficient delivery, but still is a long way out from finesse that allows it to be used in the real world. So, Continental will not be launching the robots dogs soon, but the progress made in the field is rather impressive.
Until legged robots get more reliable and quicker, companies are relying on wheeled bots. Established firms like Domino's and PepsiCo are experimenting with robots with wheels for last-mile delivery. Legged robots are a concept more applicable in the real world which is sure to obstacles which can not be overcome with wheels, but the development is just as trickier so we'll probably not see them in the near future but would love to welcome them when they do.