Smart DCU: Delivery Robots

Two Dublin-based companies pilot their autonomous delivery robots with Smart DCU.

Dublin City University (DCU) is one of Ireland’s leading universities and a hub of high-tech innovation and research. Two Dublin-based tech companies, Transpoco and Hosted Kitchens, are leveraging opportunities within the DCU campus to pilot autonomous delivery robots. Viewed as a microcosm of a city, with shops, amenities, roads and buildings, the campus offers both companies the ability to trial their technology in a smart, safe environment. 

Transpoco launched their delivery robot pilot in 2021, as a result of the company’s experience in supplying fleet management solutions. Teaming up with Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, the project involves piloting their delivery robot throughout the DCU Alpha campus’ indoor locations. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled computer vision, the robot navigates the buildings’ interiors.  It begins the process by roaming around the area, actively learning the layout of each space. Once it has a digital map committed to memory, it then uses the computer vision to avoid obstacles and people.

Similarly, Hosted Kitchens began to pilot their delivery robot in December 2021. DCU Glasnevin Campus was the chosen pilot site. The company deploys a different type of technology called ’teleoperation’ to move the delivery robot. Teleoperation involves a driver in a remote location controlling the delivery robot by viewing a live video feed, using an existing mobile network.

The two projects aim to use the delivery robots to solve issues regarding ‘last mile delivery’, which refers to using the most efficient modes and means of delivering goods to their final destination. This pilot aims to ensure reliable, sustainable and economical last mile delivery services on the DCU campus. 

Some potential benefits delivery robots can offer include:

  • Contactless Delivery
  • Speed of delivery 
  • Affordability associated with autonomous delivery 
  • Delivery tracking. 
  • Improved road safety (through inbuilt safety mechanisms). 
  • Reduced congestion and carbon emissions from traditional delivery vehicles. 

To learn more about Smart DCU see our projects HERE or contact:

Kieran Mahon

Smart DCU Projects Facilitator Manager

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