Robot uses sidewalks to deliver chicken in Grand Rapids

Bridge Street Market adopts what is described as a “sidewalk delivery service,” using a remote-controlled robot to deliver roast chickens.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – If you lingered on the west side of Grand Rapids at midday on Monday, there’s a chance you saw it, maybe even had to stop for it, while still probably asking what it was.

It was a remote-controlled robot, deployed from the Alpine Meijer store, delivering several roast chickens to the downtown Bridge Street Market, launching a state-of-the-art way to make store-to-store deliveries faster.

“When we first opened our store, we didn’t have roast chickens,” said Mitchell Cook, store manager of Bridge Street Market. “This robot is still in the testing phase but it ensures that we have a healthy supply of roast chickens for our customers who want them.”

Twice a day (noon and 4 p.m.), the remote droid is loaded with 24 to 40 roast chickens at the Meijer store on Alpine Avenue. The robot is then deployed from the store, controlled by a delivery man using an X- A box controller and laptop, starting which equates to a one-hour trip to downtown Grand. Rapids.

RELATED VIDEO: Remote control chicken delivery robot maker explains how it works

“The robot is moving at around 7 miles per hour,” Cook said. “It is equipped with a camera allowing the delivery man to see his direction from all angles.

“He is able to stop at stop signs and stop lights, and cross at crosswalks avoiding traffic.”

Monday’s inaugural delivery saw the Chicken Robot move south on Alpine Avenue, then left on Richmond Street. After cutting along a cycle path parallel to some railroad tracks, the robot ended up on Seward Avenue to the south for about a mile before rolling into the front door of the Bridge Street Market and dropping off its cargo. of chickens.

“I think we’re the only store in the area, as far as I know, that uses something like this,” Cook said. “Typically, for a person who delivers, it takes 30-35 minutes, so if I only add 30 minutes to that, and I can guarantee that [the rotisserie chickens] will be delivered every day, so this is the route I want to take to make sure I have products for my customers. “

Cook adds that the route between Alpine Meijer and Bridge Street Market will change occasionally, depending on traffic issues like road construction, car crashes, etc. He also says further modifications will need to be made to the robot to ensure it can withstand and operate the cold winters of western Michigan.

“We’re the pilot for a reason,” Cook said. “They chose Michigan because we meet all the elements of nature there.

“There are discussions going on to make sure the robot will be able to scale snow and ice to make sure it can still get here for all deliveries.”

Cook says he enjoys being at the forefront of innovation like this.

“If we are successful, then we deploy it,” Cook said. “If not, at least it was a fun try, right?” “

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