Uncrewed Systems Technology 049 - April/May 2023

48 M any organisations will remember the difficulties the Covid-19 pandemic caused as they were trying to keep their businesses going amid the repeated lockdowns and social distancing advice. Uncrewed systems thus became vital to companies to stay connected with their customers, through minimum-exposure deliveries of food and so on, to B2B logistics and more. The fear of another pandemic in the future, combined with growing shortages of labour, means the demand for intelligent, safe last-mile delivery systems is higher than ever. And while B2C UAVs still have some kinks to iron out (such as workable package drop- off mechanisms), the case for UGVs in home delivery work is increasingly well-established by small robots from companies such as Starship Technologies ( UST 37, April/May 2021) and larger ones such as the Ottobot from Ottonomy. Covid-19 lockdowns and the social distancing they brought were the inspiration for developing this delivery UGV. By Rory Jackson Product of the pandemic April/May 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology The Ottobot is an all-electric, 4WD delivery robot developed for outdoor as well as indoor autonomous navigation (Images courtesy of Ottonomy)