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Woowa Brothers Launches Autonomous Delivery Robot Dilly in South Korea

Source: Woowa Brothers

Woowa Brothers Corp, a South Korean startup, has launched Dilly, a delivery robot designed to tackle the last-mile delivery challenge.

With McKinsey predicting that 80% of last-mile deliveries will be autonomous by 2025, Woowa Brothers will join Amazon, Eliport, Marble, Robby, and Starship in the race to develop efficient delivery robots.

Dilly has launched its autonomous delivery service for 1,100 households in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. Initially, the service will operate with five Dilly robots, which users can access through the delivery application or QR code stickers around the city square.

Once an order is placed, the Dilly robot travels to the restaurant, picks up the food or drink, and delivers it to the customer's doorstep.

The service is only available outdoors, but Woowa Brothers plan to expand it to indoor locations next year.

Woowa Brothers have been developing delivery robots since 2017, starting with an R&D collaboration project with Professor Jung's team at Korea University.

After investing $2 million in Bear Robotics in April 2018, the company successfully deployed its first delivery robot at a franchise restaurant in Seoul.

The company then conducted a free test at Konkuk University in November 2019, completing 2,219 deliveries during the 26-day beta test.

Source: Woowa Brothers

Dilly is essential for Woowa Brothers, as it helps them expand their business while avoiding risk.

Currently, 17 percent of the company's revenue comes from its in-house delivery service, Baemin Riders.

But the number of drivers is limited, and the company has been criticized for treating platform workers.

As a result, Dilly's success in the 1,100-household test could significantly impact the company's business model.

For Dilly to be a game changer, it must support indoor and outdoor delivery.

With 50.1% of South Korean households living in apartments as of August 2019, Woowa Brothers are testing Dilly in both environments.

The company has already tested Dilly Tower at its headquarters, teaching the robot to pass through security gates and take elevators.

As Woowa Brothers continue to develop Dilly, it will join the ranks of companies like Starship, which has tested its delivery robot in more than 100 cities in 20 countries and completed its 100,000th delivery.