Ottonomy.IO, a maker of autonomous (and swervy!) sidewalk delivery robots, has partnered with Posten Norge to trial its robot in Oslo. The partnership, which also includes Nordic autonomous vehicle integrator Holo, will test how autonomous robots can improve Norway’s post office intra-logistics in city centers. Posten Norge also plans to trial Ottobots for first-mile pick-ups, receiving and delivering goods for the digital marketplace AMOI from the Aker Brygge area in Oslo.
Posten Norge looks to be all-in on this trial, going so far as creating a special page for its cute little Ottobot. The page, which features a video of Ottonomy’s robot (which you can see below), talks about the goals for the trial:
The purpose of this project is simply to learn as much as possible. We want to learn how people interact with Ottobot, the maturity of the technology, and we want to explore whether Ottobot can help solve challenges in connection with picking up and delivering goods in the city.
Among other things, the project will give us insight into how the citizens of Oslo experience a robot in the urban environment, how do people feel about interacting with a robot, and whether it creates unforeseen challenges in our city. In addition, we need to understand which obstacles are difficult for the robot to maneuver, whether it can manage driving in Nordic weather conditions and how reliable Ottobot is in operation.
While there’s no doubt that some of the sidewalk robot startups have struggled over the past year as a darkening economic outlook has led to cutbacks among logistics and delivery companies, Ottonomy looks like it’s faring pretty well. The company recently raised money and is showing up in airports in the US and Europe, and now, with its new partnership with one of the largest post offices, Ottonomy may have cracked open a potentially lucrative (and deep-pocketed) customer category.