The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by data analytics, , e-commerce, and supply chain risk management and the growing importance of technologies such as robotics, and augmented, virtual and mixed reality. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in retail: modular autonomous delivery bots. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Modular autonomous delivery bots is a key innovation area in robotics
Modular autonomous delivery bots are provided with autonomous capabilities to make deliveries without human intervention while navigating their environment and avoiding obstacles. The modular design of the robots allows engineers to easily customize or replace parts as and when needed.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 110+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of modular autonomous delivery bots.
Key players in modular autonomous delivery bots – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to modular autonomous delivery bots
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
The leading players in the modular autonomous delivery bots space in terms of patents filed are Toyota Motor, Cox Enterprises, Walmart, and Nuro. Toyota’s ‘e-Palette’ claims to be a new-gen modular autonomous delivery bot that acts like a store on wheels. These bots are electric vehicles that can deliver goods while navigating inside cities.
In the age of self-driven cars, it is gradually becoming practical to employ autonomous bots to fulfill deliveries in an efficient manner. Modular autonomous delivery bots are set to become popular gradually with technology improvements and reducing cost of implementation. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Retail and Apparel.