One London Drugs location in Victoria is about to be catapulted into the future thanks to a local robotics company.
The chain’s Harris Green Village location is rolling out ROLL-E, a remotely operated four-wheel vehicle with a temperature-controlled cargo area designed by InDro Robotics. ROLL-E will use its combination of cameras, GPS and a maximum speed of 10 km/h to deliver curbside orders right to a customer’s car.
“With the ubiquity of curbside pickup services now available, we’re constantly looking at new ways to invest and adopt cutting-edge solutions that will serve our customers in the safest, easiest and most user-friendly ways possible,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs president and COO, in a release. “We’re excited to pilot ROLL-E at our Harris Green Village store and further explore the full range of applications that this technology can add to our services in Victoria and at other locations throughout western Canada.”
London Drugs and InDro previously teamed up with Canada Post and Country Grocer for a trial conducted on Salt Spring Island which tested the viability of using a drone to expedite the delivery of medications to customers in remote communities. The drone was able to securely deliver prescriptions in minutes, saving customers hours in travel time and demonstrating the ability to quickly deliver products such as an Epipen in an emergency.
Drones however are less suited to more urban environments due to strict airspace regulations, making ground-based robots more practical while still offering similar advantages such as quick setup, ease of use and zero emissions.
London Drugs is also testing the possibility of integrating the robotic vehicle into their pick and pack fulfilment service, which could lead to building this technology into their operations both in-store and in the back office.
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