Postmates reveals new robot food delivery service

Postmates' senior vice president of operations, Russell Cook, shows ABC News the company's new robot food delivery service.
18:42 | 03/08/17

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Transcript for Postmates reveals new robot food delivery service
Good afternoon from Washington DC a head full tilt fourteenth street where it that's are pretty cool technology. This is Russel cook from post makes the senior vice president of operation. Russell he's overcome what we're doing here today. Today we're gonna walk you through delivery via one or delivery room box over here to mark the location. We're gonna walk over here and pick up and Lauren do deliveries. So I think that's at Wright knows we're pretty used to order these days. No matter the service you know you Paula and art and act and human liberty. Particularly different when a robot showing up afterwards and you so let's see how that works was still get the very. No. Delivery. Thank you very much. It. So what was clearly what we're about see. Witness wrote so the robots essentially. Occupied history and merchant account playing the role of march right now would bring the items out. Than there's. Compartment here. That we open up. Wow. It was good to keep it harder colder depending on what they want exactly so it's temperature controlled bagged for cold that executes it called for high times and keeps it warm. So put the customer's items within and includes the. And then we just shut the Timbaland okay. Notes and in and then world off to go and it knows how to where to go or how. Some effects of somebody please order what where they see on the air and as of right now so customer. Aiming to the first of its application on an order just like it would place any other order from restaurant nearby essentially we have a number different types of vehicles that are fleet so. People drive walk bike on some of those deliveries are starting to be completed by robots and so essentially the the order will be dispatched to the restaurant and into the robot to robot shows that the the merchant locations. On another day items or are looking into it don't go ahead and proceed to the customer's problem it is the customer gets us. Text message. Letting them know that. The delivery will be completed by iRobot and then right when it shows up they'll get another one that gives them to get answers. Koch got it that's going to got away but still went food before it even shows up. OK and you know it's nice as though there isn't secure in transit there's no way for some opinions about middle territorial public duties. Understood our let's WS if an action. Did it. So how many of these do you have around the country are now on how many do you have in Washington when you're at sites. So right now it's something that we're testing in Washington DC and Nam and redwood city California. It's something that you know we want to expand or in 45 different market serves about. 200 different cities. Is online spent all of our markets there's some regulation involved. So we worked with our partners starship technologies here in DC and with the mayor's office. The kind of pave the wafers provide deliveries in DC. It's something we're working on numbers is it's not a case that we previously spoken with starship and their fear excitement as technology and always. Views and right now you guys are testing it out for news. I'm how do you play an Alex meaning it out. We think there's a lot of interest in some areas so if you look at robots verses. Other type of deliveries it's something where we think over time. For certain types of delivers it can drive down costs by 89%. Just like any other type vehicle and on the bus platform we could use which they don't want a let me interrupt you recruit workers across. And this is pretty interesting to audit the human walking up they know when to wait to see the crossing over what it is what is the robot. Of the road essentially has seven cameras on the run to cameras on the back and ultrasonic sensors so it's in as its person crosswalk and make decisions on when the right time is to go across on and also avoid any other pedestrians walking. OK doctor doctor so how many cities that you have these in two different cities as of right now. How much to me to go to the doubt eager collecting his right now we're content and testing mode before you kind of want these I'm really interested in the safety goes into this what more about that absolutely so I think if you look at robotics one of the it's. Different than a lot of other industries of the way to test for about. Start with and and then start with a hundred fear and go from a hundred to a thousand. So we're kind of in an additional testing phase here where. It here in DC we've got couple dozen robots that are helping complete deliveries to supplement was inside looking at is whether the delivery time publicly. I'm what is the handoff look like with the merchant and we'll kind of education required there. Had a customers react to it. People walking by it while talking about traveling within the city. And then also you know working with local lawmakers to make sure that they understand. How it benefits and that your plan. OK I don't see oil at this intersection. But at some intersections of a button that has to be pressed and it will cut it happens it needs to press the button wait communicate with those people around it or. On to today the road Portsmouth that honestly. But it does have during the testing phase. It does have what we call this of people that are walking by a bomb that are there if you won intervene if it needs help. Mostly that there to help like and this kind of really see how people are acting with owns the streets. It's not to fill out its rolling were caught the collecting data possibly wearing out better or. And and and if Spain that. They'll tell me exactly you more about how you plan on being essentially retail and stuff like that and we're just put me go from here that. Suppose it's as a platform delivers anything from anywhere so 80% of orders come from food delivery but the other 20% come from things like. Retail convenience and and other merchants within your city. So for us you know big part of it is being able to is expanded out to all the different types of delivers. So you know well food is kind of the main focus. We want to make sure of that it also works for things like convenience and you can imagine. With us being able derived on the cost of delivery significantly and makes it much more convenient to get things from your local convenience. Tow it out so we get we get obviously we get rain and don't think it's no in Washington DC existing prepared for more more than just sunny days like today absolutely so. The starship robots in particular that we're looking at today where actually originally developed in Estonia so. The wheels on it entire form factor was set up to work and very snowy conditions. Rain and be able to deal with all the implications of decision making in those conditions. And so. We we got since that's distortion for we got here and we heard that about 5065%. Of people or the robot. It's had well over four I'll test the and you're aiming for about 99% economists in a role that we could be kind of quickly as are struggling to keep up with the right now fill in the booming had a pretty good pay light in the future customers gathered at right is that right but he's keeping it hot or cold ads ads were rolling along here. So can you tell me kind of the hearing most in order to one order at a time or what he's after looking at here is afflicted vision for this project. The robot I carries one order at a time. This secured during the whole time travel. I'm you can imagine there's a number different companies working on robotics technology it's something that we're investing a lot and imposing its. And then you really you can see it making different form factors you could see a slightly larger form factor that I multiple compartments. Doesn't he hurdles you guys have encountered a mean our citizens of the pretty bring you take kind of technology and threatening out in an urban environment. I think it's. You know one of the things is when you first start mapping a city you wanna figure out the best routes are so one of the things. That we're using the data collection for is to really looking like what's what traffic looks like on different streets. I'm figure out how to optimize routes and through that the other thing that's sees more mundane but. There is there is something of working with the merchants for the mr. understanding that if they're receiving an order four delivery robot. It's not that we're not having a robots go within the building itself so the merger will be alerted when the robot as a rise in thinking god please and it's of them. Got you so at this point so I think we're not far away from the delivery site. What is somebody sitting on their phone right now they have you say they have a and we need them to open it. Are you guys having me. Any visions on what people Lindsay on their phone or something like that. Right now we're doing it through text message but we're gonna be integrating in with Tanya experience as well so you would receive. On today's don't receive text messaging when in about the right thing but with the ambulance and go downstairs and meet. In the future we have all experience being integrated directly within the application itself indeed it would hit one button to open up. Russia all of that's yes technical that was able to go off the sidewalks or destroyed. All altering vehicle but that's right but I guess but I get to decide to stay on the sidewalks. It is yes so part of what it's doing by not being so that is something other them flat. The next time it rules around here it'll you know and it also as soon as we get closer to it mixture is running Austrians. So if there is someone it will slow down same with what we're seeing it across author so as we're walking along we're seeing a lot of other pedestrians kind of staring at this thing's -- guessing what we're doing. What kind of reactions are you getting from the public musings I think that's the most interesting thing when we first launched I don't think we really knew what the reaction would be. By others you can look up the media within DC and he's the only people posting about it. Just deliveries are doing this morning people stopping thinking it is really curious especially customers who kind of receded. Obviously the delivery from a robot it's something really unique and interesting and something that people are really excited about. So we so have you seen by Trenton yesterday header people kind of having had a negative experience in terms of countering it. And a study hurdles here is this is brand new technology. So the one thing the robots fairly he's just picking it up they do is is a guitars there would be kind of the culprit a run off with this and ask cameras you know are ongoing anyway. Exactly what that night cameras around it also has UPS. So someone was to at some point 81 something out so its stock so that they were at a crosswalk here with satellite. And so it stops. And it was able now that you camera to see anything coming or what exactly so since the cameras are spread out all wrong the front and on that he was able to see if there's any cars coming. Any other obstacles that. I think we're approaching our delivery site here. Though over Ricky Byrd. Okay your go. Art that is that kind of less simple sidewalk here on before we got Pratt and and treason by schools and stuff on pre to see how they go you know. So how many of the if you haven't Washington's your million account exactly. I'd just about money that it ends up that network the fleet is growing here and then. Obviously private cities and other place we're doing pass right now. And now we're looking expense and other cities I think the interesting thing about robots in general is there is legislation needs to be done around it's that something more some are both was made in our partners are working together. The local municipalities to get the rate just legislation. Archer. So so tell me. But you said it's always hearing right now multiple would hand it will in the future hearing a czar is right now apparently one that it is. Particular model is meant for one Delorean time essentially a crowd but there there are different form factors that both are shipman and other companies working on. Have separate compartments you can evil or right now this is the only model that we're seeing right now correct. Okay and Mike are reducing these security depreciate mean to I think as you start looking for the different uses so both made side we have a number of I'm kind of typical deliveries Pete's is one form factor that this. Right now as a little things use wolves of the oh so there's a slightly larger model and some other companies are working on similar models with them. Companies have different and we wanted to deliver a package so I think what you're gonna see as. The last mile delivery room lots continue to evolve. Is different form factors that serve different different from the right that's over talking about that last mile delivery was last couple miles that attended the huge expense on delivery companies like that and I think one of the things worth noting. I'm you know very very interest in robotics and I think if you look at the robot that something that's gonna supplement our fleet of drivers right now Walker's. If we see it is just another part of the fleet you know essentially can service a certain portion my deliveries. Just like someone on a bike or someone walking someone's apartment. Doctor about it so we do have a handler with us today it's running mostly opponent honestly we have the might be able to step in. Just in case of emergencies he can't tell me what the handlers for today mostly the handler is is collecting information about people's that are actually the room on. And you know to the extent if it wants the change they wanna change batteries and an in the field. In the future it'll be able to when it's getting down to ten of the lastly the battery in return back to it's this special occasion. That can go ahead and charge by the Hitler today's mostly. Mostly there for safety's sake if something that we wanted to dues we initially sell it to you guys are going green that this part of this technology. And is running on very little battery can tell me about that. Yeah yes the robots have a range of about two miles right now we're focused on doing deliveries just under a mile. And really looking. You know those kind of story deliveries that customers. Trying to do because that's news case anything. Really interesting. Rula. It. This thing moves a lot faster. I was. I was thinking that we would be you know walking at a slow pace of the things pretty quick this guy's gonna get. If there were frequently I think what you notice is it Scott comparable. All of the delivery metrics in terms of times thing. Yeah tend to be pretty similar to what we see from someone walking. But it takes a little bit more time at the cross walks to be really thoughtful mom about before going across and then. But when he does have a chance you know when there's no one on the sidewalk and can move a little bit faster that's music to kind of accelerated Neal Nathanson. This is another accident awful power in the state you can really think that there is no light that's what it's just a protester you to the problem. They waited so I think at least one car went by the truck that sitting there but it's not moving. So we have to recognize that not moving forward across that's really amazing technology and south knowing that you even need each child for doing and you got real put into rove. I've that's I think it's. It's really the thing about the you know really focusing. It's. How do you get it's it sends exactly what's going on all those complexities and then make you really important decisions about. You where to position itself when it should stop when it should you wait to people that the it's not something you know as we're getting more data and its spending more time. Mom it's something that the systems learning getting better and better every day. Okay doctor so have you seen any hurdles in terms and coming across a sidewalk that kind of takes some adjustments that weakness in the future or what kind of adjustments have you seen now. Mostly its handling them in all of our testing has been doing extremely well so it. On there have been situations where there's that penis. Google saw Johnny Carr's situation there's a biker and cars both at a stop sign and the thing this time got stuck there for awhile because it kept trying to you know. We haven't seen that it's a good job making sure has slowed down and be ready for someone walked by and once that passed its. So we've rocks quickly we have been adding this is then. Ben going to be very bent on Jeff cook your lap eighteen years. So here's your food so let's see how this works thinks he's this Russell's got absolutely so Ben requested delivery through the did notified and that the remote commander delivery. He Austin text message with a code to help open up some. He types and code and then it meets essentially unlocks the storage compartment. So he can go ahead and lifted up com and Angolans to got you okay do you have that code then. I'm sure somebody here hasn't kissed him. Next. Deliveries here. Are they went oh it. No I think I think it's actually a lot to think one or handlers here unlocked it for us. So yet to go and give it a list. Art so will walk through exactly where he's going to get the code from. Nation rescinded it. Let's see. It was a lot. Oh they were go there it is. So then there was this pretty simple for you to take it in terms of ordering it and receiving and I know I know we had to work out opening up right here we fear that operate with. Yeah. A right right. Right any doctor pretty got your pretty quickly after replacing order know of course he ignored from Templeton that was not like because Huffington. What this thing was moving pretty quickly down the street and stopped it several intersections we've apart bit by a kicker who died in wars book mean. Right. It. It. And right. Cool that they thought actor and I appreciate. So tell us where where will the starship robot go from here. We're will go from here we're going back will be to wriggle into another restaurant immediately. I'm so essentially gets dispatched another deliveries and me wait for mentally received an exodus it's most most part it'll be. Both will dispatch is back to back. So immediately turn around and start going to whoever the next a couple of got you okay wanting that process for here today on ABC news Russel cook thinks so much for coming don't think we're related but we figure that out later. Think virtually an ABC news today on Jeffrey cook steeler.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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