89.1 WEMU

Robot Deliveries On The Rise In Ann Arbor

May 13, 2020

REV-1 Robot
Credit Refraction AI / refraction.ai

The use of robots to make deliveries in Ann Arbor has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Refraction AI has four self-driving REV-1 robots delivering restaurant orders and groceries in Ann Arbor.  While the company is not revealing how many deliveries the robots make a week, co-founder Ram Vasudevan says they have more than tripled during the pandemic.  He says consumers are asking for contactless delivery options.

"As we move forward beyond this crisis, I think showing that we can do this well will illustrate that this is something that makes sense as a business."

The robots, which look like a recumbent bicycle, travel between 12 to 15 miles per hour, and on an average, delivery takes between 20 to 30 minutes. 

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu