Coco robotic vehicle startup partners with Segway on new delivery robots

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Dive brief:

  • Robotic delivery startup Coco is entering the grocery business with a new model of its remote-controlled delivery vehicle that has greater capacity and longer range than the original design, the company said in a statement. press release Thursday.
  • Los Angeles specialty grocer Erewhon Market will be the launch customer for the upgraded vehicle, which Coco produces in partnership with Segway, known for its electric personal transporters.
  • Coco joins several other delivery vehicle startups looking to help grocers make e-commerce more efficient.

Dive overview:

Coco’s new cart, known as the Coco 1, has a more efficient transmission than its predecessor and has a larger battery capacity that allows it to travel up to three miles from a store, a distance that is almost double the reach of the previous model, according to the press release.

Vehicles transmit audio warnings to alert people to their presence, and drivers can communicate with pedestrians, according to Coco’s website.

The vehicle, which can accommodate four full-size grocery bags, is equipped with an array of cameras and sensors that transmit information about its location, surroundings and potential obstacles to a remote human driver.

Segway’s robotic mobility platform, the base of the company’s people carriers, serves as the base for Coco’s new delivery vehicle, according to the announcement.

“Amid the current labor shortage and growing demand for delivery robots, we believe Coco is embarking on an exciting journey into a blue ocean market,” said Tony Ho, vice-president. Segway’s president of global business development, in a statement.

Coco, which launched her brand in 2020 and recently closed a $ 36 Series A funding round, faces competition from several other companies who also work with grocers to transport deliveries to customers. These companies include Tortoise, which works with Choice market and Safeway, Cleveron and Nuro, who is work with Kroger and has the financial support of the grocer.

Erewhon plans to use the Coco 1 vehicle at its seven sites, according to the announcement. The grocer plans to add two stores in 2022 and two more the following year, Kabir Jain, Erewhon’s chief growth officer, said in an interview in November.

Erewhon has also recently made changes to the technology it uses to take and manage online orders. In November, the company announced it had signed with Homesome, an e-commerce technology provider specializing in working with independent retailers, in a bid to streamline its e-commerce operations.


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