The City of Helsinki’s innovation company, Forum Virium Helsinki, is testing a smart logistics innovation until the end of 2023.
The future of the growing logistics industry increasingly relies on automation and emissions reduction. During the holiday season in particular, parcel lockers are full, and those who selected home delivery must wait at home for hours.
The City of Helsinki’s innovation company, Forum Virium Helsinki, is now testing an autonomous robot to smoothen last-mile deliveries. The robot is able to deliver parcels to the customers’ doors within an hour.
You can get your order home-delivered by the endearing HeRo robot until the end of the year if you live in the area of Ruoholahti or North Jätkäsaari. HeRo (short for “Helsinki Robot”) is an electric, talking and autonomously moving delivery robot manufactured by the LMAD company.
– We tested HeRo’s functionality and public acceptance for the first time in Kalasatama district in May–August, when the talking robot delivered tools from Würth Center to the nearby construction sites, says Project Manager Satu Reijonen from Forum Virium Helsinki.
Reijonen says that the robot was well-received at the worksites, and international innovation operators in the Smart City development sector came to see it all the way from Asia.
Robots are increasingly common in logistics
– In this second phase, we are testing the same robot for emission-free online shopping deliveries. We are studying consumers’ reception of the new service, and if this could be the future of smarter logistics.
Reijonen believes that the service could be in demand especially in city districts that do not have a post office of their own, such as Jätkäsaari and Ruoholahti.
– In the next phase, in spring 2024, we will expand our cooperation with various logistics operators so that we can optimise the delivery routes in terms of saving resources. Cooperation and shared rules would make it easier for the industry to operate as a whole, and moving to emission-free deliveries would be faster.
How to order
Residents of North Jätkäsaari and Ruoholahti districts can have parcels delivered to their door by HeRo from the online shop of their choice. During the pilot project, HeRo will deliver parcels on weekdays between 10AM and 7PM from these online shops, for example: Adlibris, Boozt and H&M. Select DB Schenker as the delivery option and ‘LMAD, mobile robot distributor’ as the pick-up point.
The purpose of the EU-funded URBANE project of Forum Virium Helsinki is to test various last-mile solutions in cities in order to reduce traffic congestion and emissions caused by urban logistics distribution. The project tests and develops new solutions and commercially viable operating models. It also cooperates with another Forum Virium Helsinki project, DISCO, which tests new solutions to utilise rarely used facilities for urban logistics. The project’s partner companies include LMAD, DB Schenker, A2B, Soben/TwinswHeel and others.