In what could easily be mistaken as a scene from the TV series Knight Rider, an autonomous bot delivery vehicle took to the streets of London. In its maiden journey, it delivered medical supplies for a Hounslow care home.
The vehicle named Kar-go is a brainchild of Zimbabwean serial entrepreneur Pasi William Sachiti. It uses artificial intelligence to learn from natural events, including the terrain, allowing it to use this learned knowledge in new situations.
The bot also has a specialized delivery management system and is capable of delivering parcels completely autonomously.
To fulfill safety regulations, Kar- go moves around with a driver who can step in, in case of an emergency.
The car can deliver in any terrain whether rural or urban and can navigate both smooth and dirt roads.
The bot was built by Academy Robotics, a startup founded by Mr. Sachiti. The vehicle works through an app where one can order and track the delivery, then use the app to prompt the opening of the hatch once the bot arrives at its destination. Using the delivery mechanism, the machine is able to sort and deliver the parcel.
Powered by Tesla batteries, the vehicle can go over 190 km before the next charge.
The success of its initial journey signals a probable future where driverless vehicles can take over tasks like deliveries of medicine, food, or other similar tasks.
Mr. Sachiti’s, Academy Robotics, has also developed an education solution for African rural areas. The invention uses AI-generated software and micro-computing to turn trees into teachers. The “Tree of Knowledge” project will allow trees to be embedded with a computer system, the size of an apple, which will then allow access to anyone within the proximity of that tree to pre-recorded educational content.
Covid- 19 has fast-tracked the need to be innovative in finding technology-based solutions to problems. This level of innovation simply highlights the strong capabilities of Africa’s youthful population. Given the right resources and an enabling environment, there is scope for forward-thinking ideas that answer many of the challenges bedeviling the continent.
As the digital economy has been projected to grow significantly, entrepreneurs can take a leaf from groundbreaking ideas such as these.