Albert Heijn will be introducing an autonomous delivery robot at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven this summer. Initially, it will be a trial of a few weeks. Albert Heijn has no plans yet for a roll-out outside the campus grounds.
The news was announced on Tuesday during the Digital Food Conference, which Emerce organized together with Foodlog.
Employees and visitors at the campus will be able to place their orders via an app at Albert Heijn’s AH to go store which is located there. AH employees place the order in the robot which then drives to the location where the customer is located. “This way you can work undisturbed while lunch is arranged for you,” says a spokesman for the supermarket group. The robot, developed by German/Swiss TeleRetail, uses a virtual map to find its way and is equipped with sensors to make sure it doesn’t run into anything.
The fact that the test takes place on the High Tech Campus has everything to do with the closed character of the (private) terrain. Such a test would not yet be possible on public roads.
The robot is called Aito; Swiss Post also uses it. A larger type is in development for the Japanese market, said CEO Torsten Scholl to Emerce. According to Scholl, the current prototype costs between €50,000 and €100,000 depending on the configuration, but the price could eventually drop to €10,000 to €20,0000, it is expected.