2 Mar
Event time in Zürich, Switzerland (CET)
Wed, 1 Mar 2023
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Solving the last mile problem with sidewalk robots

Last-mile deliveries are an environmental disaster, driving up carbon emissions, increasing road traffic, congestion and pushing the boundaries of safe, sensible vehicle operations. I would like to showcase how this can be addressed with self-driving delivery robots. Using autonomous delivery robots in last-mile deliveries leverages the very best of what humanity can achieve with the intelligent application of technology - technology that aims genuinely to serve people and the planet. The use of robots as a delivery method lowers the carbon emissions in the cities, makes cities less congested and fights with overconsumption.

However, many of us fear the future with robots in our neighborhoods, as our image of them is hugely based on dystopian sci-fi movies. Interaction design can help to create the future that we want rather than the future we want to avoid, and thus overcome the negative connotations of having robots in the society, as well as gain the acceptance of members of the community where they operate.

Designing human-robot interaction requires a behavioral design language system that will ensure that the intent of the robots are always well understood by the participating actors. The robots’ behavior should elevate positive experiences by introducing interactions that will make it remarkable. These experiences make the customers and community members feel engaged, joyful, amazed and motivated.

In this talk, I would like to present a case study on how we are addressing the last-mile delivery problem with an autonomous robot service used by tens of thousands of people every day. I will explain how we approach robot and human-robot interaction design to make sure that the technology creates positive experiences and habits and thus makes the communities more green and ethical.

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