In 2019 not long after founding LeapX, this design company received an ambitious and forward-thinking project to reimagine the possibility of unmanned delivery. The project focused on the delivery of takeaway food and so was internally nicknamed “Lunchbox“.
Thy began an in-depth study into the current delivery landscape, including a stint working as delivery drivers themselves. In contrast to existing robotic solutions, they wanted to explore how an autonomous robot could cover the entire journey from merchant to customer’s doorstep.
Upon questioning delivery drivers for inspiration, the design team quickly noted their two states of motion – by vehicle outdoors and by foot indoors. The ease at which people can move between the two environments is something that unmanned solutions are yet to achieve, with existing robots being designed to only operate in very limited scenarios. It was realized that the key to create a truly door-to-door solution was in balancing the conflicting needs of each scenario. Therefore, Lunchbox Delivery Robot must be stable at speed when outdoors but compact and maneuverable indoors. From that moment, the team started to look into how a robot might transform as it traverses between environments.
In addition to the robot design itself, it is also envisioned how distribution networks might change as the industry transitions to greater autonomy. This involved visualizing how robots of different sizes might collaborate to cover long distances and how charging stations could serve dual purpose as pickup locations for deliveries.
In the end, the final design of Lunchbox Delivery Robot for citizen references LeapX’s vision on the future of unmanned delivery while delivering a solution feasible within the project’s scope and today’s infrastructure. Currently, this industry is still in the early phases of figuring out how to grow with the aid of robotics and AI, so it is hope that these insights can help push the needle forward just a little more.
Design Team｜Siyoon Kim, Yumian Deng, Yufeng Shang
Visualization｜Barney Mason, Kaihuang Chen, Yushen Wang, Yaokun Wu
Tuvie has received this project from our ‘Submit A Design‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their design/concept for publication.