Robots taking on new jobs FEATURE

Robots from DoorDash can now deliver food to you, so what's next for these autonomous machines?

DoorDash, San Francisco's answer to quick food delivery service, is now adding robots to its fleet of workers. Biz Journals reports that these small roving machines on wheels will debut in Redwood City, California–able to travel up to two miles on their own to deliver food.

These machines move us one step closer to a world where robots roam our skies and streets. Amazon, known for their concept of package delivery via drones, held the MARS 2017 conference in Southern California; a summit to preview new technologies in machine learning, home automation, robotics, and space exploration. Geekwire reports that among the masses of mechanical innovation is Cassie, the long-legged device from Agility Robotics that can walk and also potentially make deliveries.

VentureBeat reports that the proliferation of these delivery robots is expected to explode in the next five years. With robots becoming more inexpensive and efficient, delivery robots could disrupt the $650 billion grocery industry very, very soon.

The concept of co-bots, or collaborative robots, is infiltrating not only the grocery business but also an expanse of different industries. Anne Field writes that manufacturing robots are working alongside humans in automotive factories. She uses the example of  an industrial robot turning a screw while a human holds the screw in place.

Automatons are also filling emotional and caretaking needs for humans. Mary Gorges writes that robots were tested in an elderly care home in Florence, Italy to great reviews. The company Robot-Era creates robots on wheels with friendly humanoid faces, providing aid with tasks like daily reminders and medication help.

With robots helping in every area from food delivery to manufacturing and senior care, we can expect a more robust world where we cohabit with machines. Perhaps you can expect a friendly robot to knock on your door with a cup of sugar sometime soon!  


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About Stephanie Chan

Stephanie Ellen Chan is the Editorial and Video Producer at Cisco. She has a passion for writing about the intersection of culture, media, art, and technology.