Last week South Korea's top economic official committed to easing robot-related regulations to allow delivery robots to travel between floors on elevators. It's worth taking a moment to think about the implications of that.
In South Korea, robots are not new. Anyone landing into a Korean airport will have seen one and perhaps asked it for directions.
These kind of robots are relatively simple; the technology not much more than what is already in your laptop. But self-driving, broadly autonomous robots are not far away at all.
Woowa Brothers, the operator of South Korea's top food delivery service app Baedal Minjok, is developing with Hyundai Motors a self-driving robot. The robot is capable of traveling between floors in apartment complexes to deliver food to the front door of any apartment.
With this regulatory change, and this new technology, there will be significant changes in the whole delivery market. It will also mean seeing robots roaming amongst us all the time.
As I've written about previously, Korea has an incredibly sophisticated food delivery market. Food is delivered, on average, in less than twenty minutes.
There are questions around what the use of sophisticated delivery robots means for delivery professionals; these will need very careful thought from economic officials. But from a consumer experience perspective, the experience is unlikely to be affected.
Take the example of the coffee shop downstairs from our office. Robots, built by Korean start-up T-Robotics, make drip coffee, cakes and cocktails! If you're ever near our office and want to have a coffee with me, I will gladly show you how amazing the coffee is.
On the subject of bringing innovation to life, I asked last week whether you wanted to be able to search for products and video through our search engine. I didn't expect the answer to be so clear-cut:
So, in the spirit of acting on feedback, here is a little video of a robot coffee shop to show you how robots are already helping us:
Hope you like the video! I am quite excited about creating more to show what happens beyond the data.
Thanks as ever for reading and, if you like what you see, please consider sharing!