India’s Snapdeal and home-grown autonomous mobility start-up Ottonomy IO recently said they have jointly tested last-mile contactless delivery using robots equipped with ultraviolet rays to disinfect the packet while navigating to the delivery location. The in-built disinfection feature will be a first of its kind in the e-commerce sector, both firms claimed.

Ottonomy IO is registered in the United States and India.

The robots can run along sidewalks and local streets to deliver orders to nearby homes using specialised artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to navigate crowded areas. These robots use machine learning, fuse data from 3D Lidar and cameras to have a robust understanding of the external world, according to Indian media reports.

The customer receives an alert once the delivery robot arrives at the doorstep. Through a unique QR code sent to the user, the hold area of the robot can be unlocked and the customer can retrieve his order.

Since the delivery robots can carry multiple orders at a time, the QR code used by the customer only unlocks the specific package hold area that contains the order placed by the user.

Ottonomy IO conducted delivery experiments with Snapdeal in select locations of Delhi National Capital Region. The delivery robots were stationed at the entrance of residential societies, wherein the delivery agent scanned a QR code and placed the package inside. Equipped with the society’s map, the robot navigated to reach the consumer and disinfected the packet on the way.

The robots can be remotely monitored and controlled whenever there is human intervention needed.

Currently, the start-up is running pilots in the United States, Europe and India. OttonomyIO owns the IP of the designs and has a proprietary software stack for autonomous navigation in congested areas fused with an AI-enabled fleet management and routing system.