What do Vera from Sweden and Lotte from Estonia have in common? Well, both are self-propelled robots, which should support us in the future with the transport of goods. The company Cleveron from Estonia has introduced a self-propelled robot called Lotte, which not only delivers parcels to their destination. With his own robot arm, Lotte can also place them on site in special parcel stations.
We already posted an article about Volvo’s Vera ahead oft he IAA commercial vehicle fair in Hanover. Hence this post is about Lotte.
Lotte tackles a different challenge in deliveries logistics companies are facing on the last mile delivery today. Even if we eventually have self-propelled parcel cars, these will have a problem that human parcel deliverers know well: The recipients of deliveries are simly not at home.
The company Cleveron from Estonia has created the prototype called Lotte. She deposits the parcel in a special parcel station in front of the house oft he recepient. Here the addressee can simply take it out when he is back home.
A bit of history on the founders of Lotte
Back in 2006, ON24, an online furniture store in Estonia and Finland created its logistics department to deliver ordered goods to customers by courier. The ON24 logistics department started to develop hardware and software for automated parcel machine networks. Over the years this department grew to a logistics company until the name Cleveron was registered. One of its first products was a last mile parcel locker network. Under the brand SmartPOST the business was providing automated parcel locker services.
With a 20% market share in Estonia and clients in Spain, Norway and Brazil, the Estonians gained traction even in the US. Here Walmart launched a pilot to test 5 Cleveron 401 pack robots for their so-called ‚buy online pick-up in store‘ solution. By the end of 2016, Cleveron’s pick-up solutions could also be found in Bulgaria and Germany. By the end of 2017, the world’s biggest retailer Walmart and the world’s biggest fashion retailer Inditex were amongst Cleveron’s clients. Walmart announced the plan to expand their network of pack robots Cleveron 401 aka Pickup Towers across the US. By the end of 2018, Walmart had 700 Cleveron storage and deliver solutions installed in their stores. The first Cleveron 401 in the United Kingdom was installed for the pilot with UK retailer ASDA.
Back to last mile delivery service Lotte
Lotte will be tested on Estonian roads from 2020. Its main attraction is about replacing human labour on the last few metres of delivery in order to reduce costs for logistics companies. This could help the online trade to grow even further. Therefore Lotte could complement the successes of its Pickup Towers in department stores.
But there is more innovation coming from this innovative crew in Estonia: a few weeks ago a public drone delivery service was opened in Cleveron’s home town Viljandi. For two weeks, Cleveron offered the opportunity to order a drink via text message and have it delivered by drone. Impressive.