Hyundai Motor and Kia have unveiled a new design of their DAL-e Delivery robot.

The new model, based on the robot introduced in December 2022, was expected to improve delivery performance, particularly in complex settings, such as offices and shopping malls.

Drawing from insights gained from the automakers’ previous ‘conveyance’ pilot project, the new DAL-e Delivery has undergone significant improvements in both design and performance “for swift and dependable delivery services in complex indoor environments”.

“DAL-e Delivery offers efficient and reliable F&B and parcel dispatch services to ensure customers receive goods promptly,” said Dong Jin Hyun, head of the automakers’ robotics lab.

“Our vision extends to implementing infrastructure interworking across diverse spaces, including offices, restaurants and shopping malls.”

To enhance stability, DAL-e Delivery is designed in a square column with rounded corners with the center of gravity at the bottom. The sensors are discreetly integrated and the sophisticated metal like design lends the ‘bot “a sleek, premium aesthetic”.

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The robot is based on four plug & drive (PnD) modules which combine a motor with steering, suspension, braking systems and environmental recognition sensors. It can speed up to 1.2 m/s, with the free moving PnD modules combined with autonomous driving tech to recognise obstacles and navigate in congested areas. Enhanced suspension provides a steady ride over floor bumps to ensure stable delivery.

The new DAL-e Delivery is smaller than its predecessor allowing it to run smoothly, but internal cargo space is larger. With capacity to hold up to 16 cups of coffee and transport items weighing up to 10 kg, it is ideal for bulky and heavy packages.

A light in the cargo area enables recipients to recognise their items easily. When the door opens, the storage tray comes forward, allowing users to load and take out their items.

Autonomous driving ability allows the robot to navigate and transfer to and from all building floors, interacting with elevator and door control systems. It ensures quick delivery service by creating optimal routes in real time.

When DAL-e Delivery arrives at its destination, it recognises the recipient through its installed camera. Using AI facial identification technology developed by Hyundai Motor and Kia’s Robotics Lab, the door opens automatically without the need for the recipient to enter a password.

The robot has an 11.6 inch high resolution display showing service status and essential information such as destination and operation status.

Animated facial expressions displayed on the screen are said to “enhance customer intimacy”.

The two automakers will deploy DAL-e Delivery at IGIS Asset Management’s ‘Factorial Seongsu’ in the second quarter this year. The smart office building in Seoul is scheduled to open this month. Hyundai Motor and Kia signed a del with IGIS last May to commercialise the robot friendly building.