Colombia’s Rappi trials robots to deliver restaurant food to homes


Colombian startup Rappi is piloting deliveries by robots as a safe way of getting food to people forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pilot started this week in Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city. The boxy robots, which travel on four wheels and are decked with orange flags on their antennae, carry deliveries of up to 35 square centimeters (5 square inches) and are used to transport restaurant orders paid for digitally.

The robots complete the last mile of the deliveries and are disinfected before and after each use, Rappi said in a statement on Thursday night.

The robots are operated jointly by Rappi and U.S.-based KiwiBot.

“We believe that by partnering with technology we will be able to continue meeting our aim of safely making people’s lives easier, especially in situations like the one we find ourselves in,” Rappi’s Colombia country manager Matias Laks said in the statement.

Rappi has completed close to 120 deliveries each day with 15 robots in the pilot area, it said.