Could electric robots deliver the tools, screws and other small items needed at construction sites on short notice? We will be testing this during the spring and summer at the construction sites of Kalasatama in an international project with Würth, DB Schenker and LMAD.
The English-speaking robot is able to carry loads of up to 300 kilograms. Würth’s customer companies operating in Kalasatama worksites can order small supplies such as screws or tools from Würth Center in Sörnäinen and have them delivered to the site by the robot.
The delivery robot has been named HeRo (Helsinki Robot), a hero providing zero-emission deliveries. In addition to reducing emissions, the robot will save customers’ time as it can deliver orders quickly and punctually to meet sudden needs. In the future, an autonomous robot could even bring lunch to the employees, for example.
“The advantage of autonomous robots is that they can make urgent deliveries in the area flexibly without interrupting the customer’s work. Autonomous robots could be an excellent addition to the services of our extensive Würth Center network. The deliveries being zero-emission is another benefit,” says Logistics Manager Terhi Vesala from Würth Oy.
Würth has 200 Centers across Finland, so tools and supplies for industry, construction and maintenance can be sent to customers quickly. “We are constantly developing our operations and are interested in trying out new ways to serve our customers in the future,” Vesala continues.
Come and discover the future of deliveries
“Electronic and autonomous robots are the future of deliveries and distribution: thanks to them, retailers and logistics operators can offer eco-friendly deliveries. In addition to this, autonomous robots can help companies reduce the cost of last-mile deliveries and improve the customer experience,” says Gergely Horvath who works at LMAD, the Finnish-French company that developed the software platform for the robots’ operation and management.
The robot is currently being tested and the local street grid is being modelled for the robot to eventually move about independently. “Cooperating with DB Schenker and Würth Oy on a real use case is a fascinating step towards developing autonomous deliveries in the EU,” Horvath continues.
In addition to Helsinki, the international URBANE project will carry out urban distribution pilots in Bologna in Italy, Valladolid in Spain and Thessaloniki in Greece in the coming years. The City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki is in charge of the project communication. The robot was built and customised by the French company TwinswHeel.
You can see and learn more about the HeRo robot at Sörnäinen Würth Center in Helsinki from May to July (weather permitting). Visits from the media are coordinated by Paula Kultanen Ribas from Forum Virium Helsinki. An assistant accompanies the robot to ensure that the project does not cause disturbances or hazards to outsiders. If HeRo is busy, parcels will also be delivered by DB Schenker’s freight bike courier to ensure smooth deliveries.
Download images here.
Photo and video: Vesa Laitinen
More information about the project
The purpose of the URBANE project is to test various last-mile solutions in cities in order to reduce traffic congestion and emissions caused by urban logistics distribution. The project will test and develop new solutions, such as autonomous distribution platforms, and seek commercially viable operating models for last-mile challenges. The EU-funded project involves 41 partners from 12 countries.
The new solutions will be tested in Helsinki (Finland), Thessaloniki (Greece), Valladolid (Spain), Bologna (Italy), Karlsruhe (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain). The pilot projects in Helsinki will be carried out by the shipping and logistics company DB Schenker; LMAD, the developer of the software platform designed for operating and managing autonomous robots; and Soben/TwinswHeel, a developer of autonomous solutions, in cooperation with Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki. The spring 2023 pilot involves the project partner Würth Oy.
The work is based on previous pilots carried out in various projects: in 2021, autonomous delivery robots were tested in Jätkäsaari and Baana. Watch a video about the collaboration between Forum Virium Helsinki, LMAD, GIM Robotics and DB Schenker.