The sidewalks of Japan are about to get a little more crowded and a whole lot cuter, because next month a new series of sushi-delivering robots will debut, and they’re small and red and adorable.
In news that will surely be a great development for people who do not like leaving their houses or interacting with people, Sora News 24 says that ZMP, a Tokyo robotics company, has partnered with the Ride On Express food-delivery service to introduce its new CarriRo food-delivery vehicles.
The CarriRo delivery robots are a little over three feet tall, and ZMP says they can safely drive themselves up and down pedestrian walkways without running into people or objects, thanks to cameras and laser sensors that prevent them from bumping into things. The delivery robots can carry enough food for about 60 people, and they can reportedly travel at night just as well as during the day.
The CarriRo robots are not very fast, which is probably good for safety purposes. They move at a little less than four miles an hour. That’s about as fast as a person walking very quickly, which means a running person could outpace the robot easily.
The CarriRo is designed to be safe and efficient, but best of all, they are really very cute. They’re bright red and shaped like tiny Volkswagon buses, and the navigation sensor on the front looks like a little beak. It’s placed right between the headlights, which makes the robot look a little bit like a surprised penguin. They look charming, and they’re very eye-catching, so when people see them rolling down the street they may well think, “Now I want some sushi.”
Food delivery robots appear to be the way of the future. Domino's Pizza in Germany has already rolled out self-driving delivery vehicles, and a California restaurant even acquired robots that can make and deliver pizzas at the same time.
The robot sushi delivery starts in Japan in August, and the initial test will begin with office parks and private roads. If everything goes well, the company hopes to have them rolling on public sidewalks in the near future.