Robotics startup - could this be helpful in urban deliveries?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Charlie Andersen, Feb 11, 2018.


What do you think?

  1. Could be useful

  2. I'm not sure if this would help

  3. I want on now, it would help enormously

  4. Never would be useful

  1. Charlie Andersen

    Charlie Andersen New Member


    I've been working on a robotics startup (, and we've developed a robotic cart that can follow you like a dog while carrying several hundred pounds. Below is a video showing our robot in action on a farm, and another in a city.

    In a city running around:

    In use moving firewood:

    Whenever I walk through Philadelphia or New York, I see a lot of UPS 2 ton trucks/vans parked, with people running packages back and forth on push carts from the trucks/vans.

    Could anyone imagine our robot following them around in deliveries rather than them having to push them? Any feedback on our prototype and how we might make it a helpful tool for a UPS driver?
  2. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    While useful, there are so many times of the year that something that large would not fit in my truck.
    Also, UPS only gets power steering because the union mandates it. We would not have 2 wheelers if the company could get away with it. So, it would have to be cheaper than the current crop of 2 wheelers and fit in the same space where they are currently stored.

    I have worked with powered feed carts on dairy farms. The guys that I know that use them would only by a robotic version if it were very close to the same cost.
  3. 2033

    2033 Active Member

    If they could select packages and drive, they would replace us.
  4. Box Ox

    Box Ox Well-Known Member

    Between having to dig it out (if there’s room for it in the first place), unload it from the truck, load it with packages, and load it back onto the truck, it wouldn’t be practical or save time.
  5. cosmo1

    cosmo1 Now, a low life jack wagon, and still loving it.

    Nope, on so many levels.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  6. dookie stain

    dookie stain Cornfed whiteboy

    Sorry Charlie
  7. eats packages

    eats packages Member

    everything is about space and portability when it is loaded into a package car.
    Because they are loaded like a sardine can. Sometimes all year round.

    As it stands, there is no way to retrofit anything like this into a normal package car. We are a logistics company, have to work with what we have now or you must wait for a newer iteration of the fleet that slowly phases in.

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    This would be better for Freight ( palletized shipments).
  9. PASinterference

    PASinterference Yes, I know I'm working late.

    I could see it working at a mall route very well. Other than that, past history would show that UPS would figure out a way to make it a total circus, that's what we do. (Orion, preload, safety) And still make money doing it.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  10. Charlie Andersen

    Charlie Andersen New Member


    We were imagining this type of setup. Often in NYC and Philadelphia you'll see a 2 ton truck parked, with one guy loading multiple carts and another one running carts around. Sounds like a no go even there?

    Are there ever deliveries that are made on foot primarily? Or is everything from a truck?
  11. Indecisi0n

    Indecisi0n Well-Known Member

    Feeder guys could use that to get to and from the lunch room. I'm sure they would invest.
    • Funny Funny x 7
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  12. Charlie Andersen

    Charlie Andersen New Member

    Does anyone make deliveries on foot at UPS? Or is that only the USPS today?
  13. Is your robot a "pleasure" model?
  14. Nike

    Nike Active Member

    This could definitely work keep us informed, but make sure you spend a lot money first though!
  15. Charlie Andersen

    Charlie Andersen New Member

    We're trying to find some people to test it and share feedback/advise what we could do to make it useful/helpful and valuable.

    This said, time is money and we have neither.
  16. In all seriousness, this is a cool idea. I have only been at UPS for 3ish months, so cannot speak to the usefulness for drivers and everyone else. I would imagine something like this could help folks with disabilities, etc? I'm sure you have explored this area and robotics is a booming field. Good luck!
  17. OrioN

    OrioN double tap o da horn dooshbag

    those p1000 - p1200 stepvans are more like 10 tons

    thank goodness i'm Home Delivery on a rural route, where my boxvan is only under 5 tons and 12' box body...

    edit, you'll need stake side walls for flexibility of boxes contained on that cart, in case of inclines & what not.


    HEFFERNAN Huge Member

    Honestly, it may work in some situations.
    No UPS employee thought we'd have golf cart drivers but we do.

    But with a hand cart, we can actually pull it up a couple steps if need be. This couldn't do it.
    Also, we are required to secure every package so I'm not sure I would turn my back to this while it was going down a sidewalk.
    We could probably carry more on the hand cart as well.

    I applaud the ingenuity but we are just employees.
    You would need to talk to corporate UPS and they have a tech/IE department that would probably listen.
  19. Charlie Andersen

    Charlie Andersen New Member

    Does anyone know anyone there / have an email address or department title?

    We're just looking for someone to test it out. We can easily put a container on the back to contain packages, make it fold up so it can be folded out of a truck, and get it set up to travel over curbs. It's just a matter of whether there could be a place where it could be helpful/very useful?

  20. Man, I wouldn't know but I would think you would have to clear that with corporate and the Union first?