Bridge Gaps
Robots: The New Normal?
Posted on: 06-05-2020 by Floor Covering Media


Imagine fleets of assorted autonomous robots independently traveling in the neighborhood making all kinds of deliveries. Is the pandemic likely to accelerate the age of robotic automation? Uncertain. However, fewer people are interacting with each other for obvious reasons and compels the question: What exactly is going to be the new normal around the world?



Will we need to start wearing respirators and hazmats suits for protection?



Will coughing in public continue to alarm others, even trigger a public panic?


Will robots put some people at ease? Perhaps. They don't cough. What would a robotic landscape look like in the future? Dealing with robots is possible and may even appeal to people preoccupied with personal safety.


Keenon Robotics already has about 6,000 server robots in use serving China's hospitality and restaurant marketplace. Trays on self-driving wheels are transporting food back and forth from the kitchen to the table and / or hotel room doors.



Bear Robotics has a server robot with a name. It's Penny. Earlier this year, Penny has been in the news at TechCrunch and is quite popular with a number of businesses serving patrons more comfortable with less contact. 


Starship's municipal, restaurant and grocery delivery programs are on the move. Where? Areas include: Fairfax, Virginia, Tempe, Arizona and recently Frisco, Texas. The company is eyeing it as another city to commence its delivery programs. Interest in serving college campuses have cooled. There's likely to be a pivot to public delivery probably in nearby towns. Look for them near the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presuming that Madison is agreeable to a robotic's program. Other areas of Starship's interest include (but are not limited to) the following markets: Ohio's Bowling Green University, Pennsylvania's University of Pittsburgh and Indiana's Purdue in West Lafayette.


Refraction AI’s REV-1 has been delivering lunch since the beginning of the year and recently started delivering groceries. It's a rugged three-wheeled robot capable of traveling in bike lanes, which might prove useful for the spread out suburbs.


Remember, the above momentum is sustainable with sheltering in place, as fewer people are on the streets and roads. What if that changes, as the rules are relaxed? What impact will such changes have on the growth of the robotic market?



Robotic manufacturers must ramp up its production in the event that demand accelerates across the country. Would governments be willing to adopt robot-friendly policies, if it translated into safer deliveries and more jobs? How would governments welcome robots?


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