In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, when human activity has slowed considerably, vehicles are fewer on roads robot economy is receiving a boost. So much so, the moment is a call for robotics makers to bring their technology to the market that can help everyday functioning. Particularly, at a time, when there are only a few options to do tasks so as not put people’s lives into risk.
The four times increase in demand for Refraction AI’s robot restaurant food delivery service is a case in point. Since last month, when Michigan shut down, engineers, technical experts at the company are working aggressively to widen its small fleet of three-wheeled REV robots, said Refraction AI CEO.
Nonetheless, Refraction is one example of surge in robot activity as the U.S. economy strives to get back normal and at the same time maintain self-distancing and expose as few workers as possible. Meanwhile, the pandemic is pacing robotic trends – from auto plant assembly lines to security patrols to grocery store cleaning robots – this is likely to have enormous implications on the jobs in the near future.
Startup’s Customer List Swells Massively amidst Crisis
To begin with, as a pilot, Refraction’s autonomous electric vehicles REV introduced restaurant food delivery service in the first year from four restaurants to a small group of beta consumers. The delivery was restricted to a 2-mile radius in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan.
From there, since the closure of in-restaurant dining and subsequent orders of shelter-in-place, Refraction’s customer list has swelled to 400. This surge in demand is taxing the company’s five robots that have been shuttling to and fro along the borders of abandoned city streets.
“A number of new restaurants are seeking Refraction’s robots to have food delivery at this time. The limited number of robots is preventing this,” added the CEO Refraction AI.