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Uber Eats starts robot deliveries in Tokyo

38 Comments
By Katie Forster

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38 Comments
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More obstacles on the already very narrow and small sidewalks and streets.

Exactly what was needed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I had to look on you tube and this is the first thing I found:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ4UFZOyFl0

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good luck with that SpongeBob

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Seeing most places have a stair at least looks like just headline grabbing. Anyone in this economy wasting money on Uber deserves to be poor.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Are they an obstacle for blind people? Young children are attracted to them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Would be more useful if they were rolling trash bins.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Just what Tokyo needs, more chirping, more flashing lights, and more obstacles on its public streets.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This is the future, like it or not.

But I think the robot should be wearing a helmet.

Of course people and pets should always have priority on the street. The robot should move out of the way of people and animals. Not the other way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just pull a suitcase on wheels for 500m in Tokyo. Then tell me the mini-cart in the photo is going to be a regular way to deliver in Japan.

That thing has way bigger wheels than any suitcase I've seen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just pull a suitcase on wheels for 500m in Tokyo. Then tell me the mini-cart in the photo is going to be a regular way to deliver in Japan. LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I delivered pizzas in high school straight to your door. No service fee but tip expected. There is nothing innovative here except that workers are getting screwed.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Good, I hope it works well..

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I have started to see some of these automated drones in central downtown areas of certain major cities in the US. The did not all appear to be delivering food. The radius according to the information provided to me was small. Also, the pace is slow. If it is delivering supplies or special printouts from and office store, then time will not be a major factor, but the deliveries need to be near buy or Uber will need to have stations setup everywhere. This may mean that the price for these stations will be passed on to the customer. Therefore, no discounts with option to increase prices in the future depending changing costs.

I believe the accidents will mostly involve bicycles. They may be intentional or unintentional. Next, elderly, drunks, the mentally ill, the financially strapped, and Youtubers will also target these bots.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Interesting.

This can only work in countries like Japan.

You saw those videos out there with those primitives in US, kicking them, breaking them and stealing the food.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

it is just a gimmick and not practical at all

Yes, its far more of a rolling advert placed for free in public spaces, than any effective way of getting food to people who need it. Adverts rolling through Tokyo streets should not be confused with genuine issues such as feeding isolated old people in the countryside.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

it is just a gimmick and not practical at all

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What's to stop someone from stealing the food?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nobody trashed it ? Wow imagine living in a society where people don't trash or vandalize these things.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

"using sensors to avoid pedestrians and other obstacles"

Me think that do not work well.

At a demonstration on Tuesday, the robot nearly collided with a pedestrian

[...]

"I thought it might bump into people's feet, but people give way to it,"

According to the article it does not seems people choosing to accept robot delivery will get a discount. I so love all the thing to face the supposedly labor shortage (in Tokyo, sure) result in increasing pressure on collectivity/customer but income for company. At least this one is honest in the fact that addressing the actual labor shortage issue in remote area is just going to be a potential after thought :

The service could also one day come to rural areas, where many residents are elderly and drivers are scarce,

Most likely will never come if not heavily subsided by government as not profitable enough. It could be good if government actually play their card the other way round.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

human delivery partners

I’d add underpaid to that UBER definition for workers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Will only work for a tiny number of deliveries. Curbs, idiots and pranksters are all against this ever being a thing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

More fool anyone who pays restaurant prices for food eaten at home and delivered at walking pace (up to 5.4 kilometers an hour!).

Just boil some rice or pasta and have some curry or pasta sauce from a retort sachet. It'll be a third or less of the price and produce less gomi.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hijack that robot!

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

It is a gimmick.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Do I have to tip the Uber Eats delivery robots?

Having to tip $10 was the reason why I never used Uber Eats, but if the robot is tipping free I might try it.

Oh well, they ask for tips at the fast food kiosks, whom am I kidding.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

There is no shortage of labour in Japan.

What there is a shortage of are decently paid, secure jobs.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

This is great, we're slowly inching towards those unmanned aerial taxis that can transport cargo and even humans from point a to point b quicker. I get it that japan is facing a labor shortage, and bots like these are a tempting and easy shortcut, but eventually the country will reach a point where it will have to address that population issue head on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Is this a "pleasure" model?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Great that it's finally starting in Japan, if only in Tokyo. I've seen it in the US for at least 4 years. The last time I saw it was in LA. People there just seemed to go about their own business and the robots were careful of traffic.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

this is a disaster waiting to happen. what happens when it snows? what if it gets stolen? what if it injures someone?

This will not work

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Why this robot is on the side walk, while bikes are not technically allowed.

And who will have the priority. I hope the humans.

I do not bet on that service. Will the robot climb the stairs or elevators ? Please, leave it to dedicated humans

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Good for them.

What was that about a "labor shortage crisis"?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I design a gps map of Tokyo using graph paper and gps coordinates,it work seemless with Google map using Tokyo train transit system,by entering GPS coordinates

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Hope they'll survive drunken people during Friday night, they'll having difficulty in remembering incident.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

"Japan has an aging, dwindling population, with a serious labour shortage. So this is a very good idea for Japan too."

This old chestnut again.

Or could it be that the many deliverers were agitating for better working conditions, many of whom as you could see around Tokyo were foreigners looking for side hustles with their own precarious contract labor?

It is not only Tokyo though, the old stomping grounds of Fairfax VA are also getting a rollout.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/tech/uber-eats-to-roll-out-self-driving-robot-chefs-in-tokyo/articleshow/107889521.cms?from=mdr

Probably will do well in Tokyo and their will be no robot harassment and theft.

Many deliverers are in vulnerable situations and will be feeling the pinch, but that is your late stage capitalism.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

The uneven road surface and uneven crowded footpaths will provide a major challenge for these robots! Then also some idiot human will do crazy things to these robots and the food inside and upload it on social media thinking that they’ve achieved such a big thing…assholes losers and their social media uploads!

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

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