Autonomous robots were a major focus this year at CES, from roaming device demonstrations on the exhibit floor to virtual presentations discussing emerging trends in the space.
Autonomous-delivery startup Ottonomy used the Las Vegas event to spotlight its Ottobot, the company's newly named delivery robot capable of navigating "crowded and unpredictable environments" and working indoors as well as outside.
Two of Ottonomy's autonomous delivery robots, or ADRs, are operating inside Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, where the bots make food, beverage and retail deliveries to passengers waiting to board flights.
The autonomous robots, which resemble high-tech coolers on wheels, have a range of 2.5 miles and can operate for six to eight hours before needing to be recharged. The speed of the Ottobots is limited to 5 to 10 mph for safety reasons.
Customers in the airport's B concourse use a mobile app to request delivery of food or merchandise from select stores operated by Paradies Lagardere. Menu items run the gamut from a grilled chicken caesar wrap to a set of earbuds.
Upon receiving the order, the restaurant or retailer uses the customer's QR code to unlock a compartment and place the item into the robot to make the delivery. The customer is alerted when the order arrives and must use the unique QR code to gain access.