Hyundai and Kia’s new robot can carry 16 coffees around an office at once | CAR Magazine

Hyundai and Kia’s new robot can carry 16 coffees around an office at once

Published: 03 April 2024 Updated: 03 April 2024

► Hyundai and Kia’s answer to the Asimo robot
► The DAL-e robot can autonomously deliver items and parcels
► It’ll be deployed to futuristic offices later this month

Hyundai and Kia have shown off their latest new robot that will be able to bring you coffee in the office and deliver parcels in shopping centres. 

Known as the ‘DAL-e Delivery’, it’s the latest version of the firms’ robot, and could take off from where Honda’s now-closed Asimo project left off. Think of it as a facelift, but probably more interesting than an i30 having a mid-life update. This latest robot is faster and features new facial recognition that guarantees the right Deliveroo is delivered to the right person. 

So what’s new about this DAL-e?

It’s got a hint of Wall-E, hasn’t it? Hyundai and Kia first showed off their delivery robot back in December 2022 and it’s now back with a makeover. 

It’s had a redesign so that the centre of gravity is at the bottom and means it’s less likely to fall over. The South Korean firm says the new metal-like design gives it a ‘sleek, premium aesthetic’. A premium robot, who knew!

Hyundai and Kia DAL-e Delivery robot

It can travel at 1.2 metres per second – slightly less than the average person and it’s fully autonomous with its ‘enhanced suspension’ said to provide a ‘steady ride over bumps’. You wouldn’t want to spill those coffees, after all. 

Despite being smaller in terms of overall dimensions, its internal cargo space is larger. There’s room for 16 cups of coffee and items weighing up to 16kg. 

How does it work?

Four modules make up the DAL-e’s technicals, combining a motor with steering, suspension, braking systems and ‘environmental recognition’ sensors so it doesn’t bump into walls or trip people over. 

The modules, in combination with the sensors, ensure it can be used in busy environments. Hyundai says it works across multiple floors in a building and work with lifts and automatic doors. 

Hyundai and Kia DAL-e Delivery robot

Once the robot arrives at its destination, facial recognition technology can identify the recipient through its camera, before the door opens automatically and allows the person to pick up whatever items have been purchased. 

What’s it for?

If you’re thinking this is all a bit dystopian, you’re right to an extent. Hyundai and Kia says it’s designed to work in modern office buildings, restaurants and shopping centres

It’s already teamed up with South Korea’s largest property investment firm IGIS Management Company to develop ‘robot-friendly buildings’. Not surprisingly, its first outing is at that company’s new smart office building in Seoul, with the robots set to be buzzing around it once it opens later this month. 

By Ted Welford

Senior staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers. Loves a car auction. Enjoys making things shiny