Artificial intelligence and machine learning are driving innovations in robotics to meet needs across multiple sectors in virtually every industry. Segway, known for its scooters, also develops robotic technology aimed at simplifying the process for transporting people and objects, according to Tony Ho, vice president of robotics and business development at Segway Robotics.
And in this exciting episode of Simply Moving, Ho speaks with Michelle Dawn Mooney about the innovative technology being developed to meet indoor and outdoor delivery needs, specifically within the food industry. Ho has worked in the robotics industry for many years, including time spent in scooter-sharing and retail. Moving objects and people is more commonly referred to as the micromobility business, or as Ho likes to reference them – “robots on wheels.”
In fact, the robotic service market grew 25% in 2021 from 2020, and there is no sign of it slowing down. According to Counterpoint, the “global consumer service robotics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27% during 2021-2025.” With this expected growth, it’s no wonder that Segway decided to use food service as an entry point into devising innovative ways to solve the need of efficient food delivery.
The labor shortage, coupled with the increased cost of food, has resulted in “a pain to be solved in that industry where robotics can help tremendously to reduce the costs to bring food from the kitchen to your table,” according to Ho. “We thought that was the biggest problem we could solve.”
Segway’s ServeBot S1 — designed for use indoors — is already taking the restaurant industry by storm. The robot can serve food and drinks, collect dirty dishes, greet customers, and much more. The outdoor delivery robot in development will bring new technology to the first and last-mile delivery business. In fact, Forbes has reported that tech such as this is already in use in many college campuses across the U.S.
Listen in to learn about Segway’s ideal customers, challenges in the commercial robot industry, what sets Segway apart from its competitors, and more. Curious what it’s like to work for a cutting-edge robotic company? Ho also took a moment to share his experience with being part of the evolving technology.