Sunday, November 28, 2021
Home > CANADA > Toronto sidewalks could soon be taken over by swarms of adorable little robots

Toronto sidewalks could soon be taken over by swarms of adorable little robots

Toronto sidewalks could soon be taken over by swarms of adorable little robots

You may have seen cute little pastel pink robots navigating sidewalks over the past year, a product of Toronto tech startup Tiny Mile.

Well, you’re about to see many more of these micro-delivery robots where the company is looking at an ambitious expansion that will bring half a dozen of these cute things to the city streets by the end of the year and a swarm of 200 within 18 months.

But don’t worry, they have hearts in their eyes, so we probably won’t all be turned into bio-batteries like Keanu in The Matrix.

Tiny Miles robots have been turning heads in Toronto since 2020, and their fleet is growing exponentially. Photo courtesy of Tiny Mile.

The mindset of engineers Ignacio Tartavull and Gellert Mattyus, Tiny Mile was conceived in Ryerson’s Design Fabrication Zone back in 2019 and released its first robots in Toronto last spring, just as people began to need innovative food delivery options more than ever.

“Only one in ten restaurants is making money now, and 8 out of 10 restaurants went into debt over the last few months,” Tartavull told blogTO.

“Restaurants employ over two million people in Canada, so this is a serious problem. On top of that, delivery is expensive. Restaurants pay between 20 and 40 percent commission to cover the $ 10- $ 12 that delivery costs are.”

Tiny Miles robots all go by the name Geoffrey (a nod to the godfather of artificial intelligence Geoffrey Hinton), even though they use gender-neutral pronouns for them. Eleven Geoffreys have been built since the company was founded, with five retirees and six currently delivering food on Toronto streets.

Each of the pint-sized rovers weighs about 13 lbs, about the same as a bowling ball, and drives at speeds of up to 6 km / h, around the speed of an average pedestrian.

drone delivery canada news

One of Tiny Miles’ robots crossing the busy Yonge and Dundas intersection. Photo courtesy of Tiny Mile.

Participating restaurants – six are currently logged in with increasing demand – allow for robot delivery on food delivery apps. One of TinyMile’s small drones is then remotely controlled by a human driver using a game console controller, starting from a centralized location, on to the pickup location and finally to the customer.

With a business model that charges a flat rate of $ 4 per. Order, Tiny Mile reduces the cost of restaurants by taking human couriers out of the mix, which costs about three times the price per. Delivery.

“We have been able to reduce costs to $ 4, which would help tremendously in making restaurants profitable again,” says Tartavull.

Reducing costs is just one of the goals, while another is to eliminate as many cars delivering from the city streets as possible.

Tartavull says that “there are a lot of people on the street, so 200 robots will not increase congestion, even a fraction of a percent, when they come across any concern about these little curiosities clogging pedestrian paths.”

Bringing a bunch of delivery robots to Toronto is a lofty goal, but Tiny Mile has even bigger ambitions ahead of it, and Tartavull says that “we will reach 200 robots in Toronto and then start working on four new cities; two in the US and two in Canada.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *