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‘Ottobots’ Roll Out: Autonomous Delivery on Full Display at CES

LAS VEGAS – Tech startup Ottonomy’s shopping-cart-sized delivery robot Ottobot, introduced last year, unveiled a new capability at this week’s CES Show: the ability to dispense beer and other drinks.

The Ottobot has been delivering food and retail items inside Cincinnati’s airport since the end of 2021. Two models were introduced at CES 2024: Ottobot Locker and Ottobot Brew.

The pandemic gave the company the push to develop a robot that could make both indoor and outdoor deliveries for businesses experiencing staffing shortages, and the climate crisis made the use of battery powered delivery options the obvious alternative to traditional third-party delivery services, with batteries that can last six hours on a 70-minute charge.

The company said it provides “quicker, safer and more economical” delivery options.

The delivery robot market totaled $306.3 million in 2023 and was projected to top $2 billion by 2030, per Fortune Business Insights.

On Tuesday, Ottonomy announced a partnership with Harbor Lockers to support first- and last-mile delivery, as well as a partnership with Cooler Keg to introduce Ottobot Brew to bring “a new level of mobility and service to the beverage industry.”

It’s not just about food deliveries, CEO Ritukar Vijay noted during a press conference. Arik Levy, general partner of Locker One Ventures, added the following in a statement:

“Integrating first and last-mile options with autonomous robots is paving the way for the future of logistics.”

Ottonomy’s latest model, Ottobot Yeti, incorporates an automatic package dispenser. The bot can drop off a package on a doorstep or place it in a locker, using a simple tilting mechanism and rollers – no human intervention necessary. Modular internal bins can be swapped out to accommodate different sized deliveries.

Ottonomy said the bots currently are operating in 14 cities, including Pittsburgh, Oslo and Madrid. Efforts to expand into other parts of the U.S. and Europe, as well as Canada and Asia, are underway.

The beverage delivery system developed in partnership with Cooler Keg uses a CO2-driven draft system that automatically dispenses beer, cocktails and cold coffee. Expect to see the system at casinos, hotels and public events, the company said. It’s not intended for home delivery.

The robots operate within a geofenced area, using maps that continually update themselves.

“Our autonomous robot technology is changing the way brands can meet growing consumer demands,” Vijay said in a statement. “All of our strategic partnerships will focus on ways that autonomous delivery robots can sustainably enhance customer service through accessibility, mobility, and scalability.”