• Refraction AI’s last-mile delivery robot, the REV-1, is completing lunch deliveries in Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Customers who live within the 2.5-mile delivery radius can sign up for REV-1’s pilot lunch delivery program from a choice of four Asian and Mexican restaurants, according to Refraction AI.
  • Refraction AI has seen a three to four-time increase in orders with REV-1 since the start of the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Refraction AI’s last-mile delivery robot, the REV-1, has seen an increase in lunch delivery requests since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

REV-1’s delivery process is simple: the robot picks up the product order at a store and then drives itself to the customer’s home. Unsurprisingly, this contactless delivery option is now seeing a demand surge amid the coronavirus pandemic: Refraction AI has received three to four times more orders with the REV-1 since the start of the pandemic.

The company, which first launched in July 2019, built the robot specifically for last-mile deliveries between stores and customers in urban communities like Ann Arbor, Mich., where the pilot program is now taking place.

Customers in the Ann Arbor community who live within the 2.5-mile delivery radius can sign up for REV-1’s pilot lunch delivery program that’s partnered with four — three Asian and one Mexican — restaurants, according to Refraction AI. There are also currently more potential partners still on a waitlist.

Robots Customers who have placed an order with REV-1 will receive delivery updates and a numerical code.

Robots REV 1. 4

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots The code is used to open REV-1’s delivery compartment.

Robots REV 1. 7

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots The compartment is about 16 cubic feet, allowing it to hold up to four or five bags.

Robots REV 1. 3

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots Refraction AI charges the restaurants a 15% commission per order, which is about half of what delivery platforms like Doordash and Grubhub charge.

Robots REV 1. 5

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Source: Business Insider

Robots Customers are charged a $3 delivery fee per order.

Robots REV-1.

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots In order to keep all parties safe amid the pandemic, Refraction AI added disinfecting UV lights in the bag compartment of the robot.

Robots REV 1. 6

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots The REV-1 is also disinfected between every delivery.

Robots REV 1. 1

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots A REV-1 unit is about the size of a bicycle, standing at 5 feet tall, 4.5 feet long, and 2.5 feet wide.

Robots REV 1. 3

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Source: Refraction AI

Robots It weighs roughly 100 pounds and can travel up to 15 miles per hour.

Robots REV 1. 6

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots The robot is also “low-power” enough to operate in the bicycle lane, but quick enough to ride in the vehicle lane without increasing traffic, according to its maker.

Robots REV 1. 2

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Source: Refraction AI

Robots The “nimble” delivery robot — which can operate through all four seasons — also has a short stopping distance, which means it doesn’t require expensive sensors, according to its maker.

Robots REV 1. 5

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Source: Refraction AI

Robots The startup is now building more robots to meet its rising demands.

Robots REV 1. 1

REV-1.


Refraction AI



Robots The REV-1s are all controlled by Refraction AI employees who are currently working from home.

Robots REV 1. 2

REV-1.


Refraction AI



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