This cute robot can deliver 16 cups of coffee right to your desk

This cute robot can deliver 16 cups of coffee right to your desk
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The office coffee run could soon be a thing of the past, judging by Hyundai’s new DAL-e Delivery robot. 

The cute ‘bot, which Hyundai says has been designed to navigate busy and complex settings such as offices and shopping malls, can carry up to 16 cups of coffee – and based on the video below, it’ll deliver them without spilling a drop.

The DAL-E uses four of Hyundai’s Plug & Drive (PnD) modules, which combine an electric motor, steering, braking and suspension system into one unit. It’s capable of safely travelling at speeds of around 2.6 mph – a perfectly acceptable walking pace.

But more impressive still is the suite of environmental recognition sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles and create real-time optimal route calculations. According to Hyundai, it can even use an elevator system by “seamlessly interfacing” with the door controls.

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It’s capable of carrying up to 10kg of cargo, and also uses in-house-developed AI facial identification technology, via its built-in camera, to identify the recipient and deliver the goods.

Apparently, this facial recognition technology is officially certified by the Korea Internet and Security Agency thanks to its 99.9 percent accuracy, which does away with the need to punch in passwords to access the bounty that lies within DAL-e’s futuristic cuboid chest cavity.

But in order to signal its intentions and provide an operating status to us humans, Hyundai has seen fit to install a 11.6-inch high-resolution display. And yes, animated facial expressions have been added to give it a little extra cuteness.

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The coffee-delivering bot will be put to good use at a soon-to-open smart office building in Seoul, which local company IGIS Asset Management will inhabit. Hyundai Motor and Kia signed a business agreement with IGIS in May last year to commercialize the robot-friendly building.

Rise of the robots

Hyundai DAL-e Robot

(Image credit: Hyundai)

Hyundai Motor and Kia’s Robotics Lab has a long history in developing and producing automated bots that can be put to work in factories and further afield. 

We got a look inside Hyundai’s sci-fi smart factory in Singapore last year and walked among the numerous autonomous dogs and self-driving delivery platforms that inhabit it – the lack of human employees is almost eerie. 

What’s more, much of Asia already employs similar but arguably more basic autonomous systems in cafes and restaurants, where AI-powered trolleys ferry dirty dishes to the kitchen and even deliver orders directly to tables.

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But whether DAL-e will replace the work experience kid in offices around the globe is yet to be seen. 

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