Amazon has designed a robot capable of making deliveries at people’s homes by opening their smartlock.
The smartlock—branded Amazon Key and launched in November last year—is designed to allow entry to human delivery people, or to professional service providers whose services have been purchased through the Amazon website, such as scheduled cleaners.
The idea is that deliveries can be made while the tenant or homeowner is at work, or even asleep.
Now Amazon is exploring robots that could do the same job. The company has filed a European patent for “autonomous ground vehicles” (AGVs), which would retrieve parcels from delivery vehicles and use a robotic arm to physically deposit parcels inside the home.
A transmitter in the robot would open the smartlock. It could also be fitted with a touchscreen, keypad and biometric scanner for identification purposes.
The robots could be owned by a group of neighbours or flats, according to the filing, docked for charging in a lobby or garage and rolling out as needed.
(Source: Evening Standard)