Robots can serve in different areas behind the scenes of food-delivery businesses. Cobalt Robotics Inc. today announced that DoorDash has implemented its robots to increase security at its corporate offices and to help employees return to them safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“DoorDash is fully committed to the safety and security of its employees and workplaces,” stated Chris Cherry, head of global safety and security at DoorDash. “By placing leading technologies and data at the center of our workplace strategy, we have been able to achieve our safety and security objectives while simultaneously fostering the curated experiences that drive human connection and innovation.”
Founded in 2013, DoorDash connects consumers with local businesses in 27 countries. The San Francisco-based company has worked with Starship Technologies for delivery services. Last year, DoorDash acquired food-preparation robot developer Chowbotics, which it shut down this past summer.
DoorDash orders up automation
DoorDash considered optimizing certain high-volume, repetitive tasks. The company's Global Safety and Security team worked with Cobalt Robotics to deploy a COVID-19 screening and check-in system across offices in early 2020.
DoorDash has deployed artificial intelligence and robotics for the first time to secure its workplaces, said Cobalt Robotics. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company applies AI to security and facility tasks.
Cobalt said its robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) offering can improve workflows with greater efficiency and predictability at substantially reduced costs. This allows guards to focus on tasks that require judgment, empathy, and decision making, it claimed.
The company's integrated Remote Guarding Service Solution includes robots with more than 60 sensors, including day-night cameras, 360-degree cameras, thermal cameras, depth cameras, lidar, and badge-reading capabilities.
Using machine learning, semantic mapping, and novelty detection, the robot can independently identify and flag anomalies such as people, sounds, motion, doors and windows, and missing assets, Cobalt explained. Each robot has a screen for communication between remote specialists and people on site, said the company.
In the event of an incident, Cobalt said its security specialists can provide human assistance for complex situations. They will triage the incident, contact appropriate personnel, and report back to the security team 24/7/365 based on previously established orders. The specialists can also provide two-way video from the robot to greet employees, request badge credentials, and ensure guest check-in.
Cobalt noted that leading enterprises such as General Motors and Slack rely on its automation to protect facilities, staff, and intellectual property.
Cobalt Robotics moves from COVID-19 to security
DoorDash initially used Cobalt's robots to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk in its offices. The companies said the technology enabled DoorDash to enforce mask wearing, social distancing, and other health and safety protocols without putting its team at risk.
As more employees returned to the office, DoorDash began using Cobalt robots to perform routine security tasks including patrols for hazard and threat identification, perimeter control, security escorts, and alarm response. The food-delivery company now uses the autonomous mobile robots widely as a pillar of its workplace safety and security strategy.
“DoorDash is known for its culture of innovation, deploying groundbreaking technology throughout their business, and the workplace was no exception,” said Mike LeBlanc, president and chief operating officer of Cobalt robotics. “The company has proven to be one of today’s most adaptable businesses and took that same determination to building a creative, innovative, and safe office space.”
“The same ingredients that went into building DoorDash into a multi-category leader are present in how we approach safety and security at DoorDash,” Cherry added. “From the very beginning of our partnership, Cobalt has understood this and enabled us to experiment, measure, and adapt rapidly to the dynamic needs of our employees and the challenges of the modern workplace.”
“DoorDash has already realized previously unachievable levels of task efficiency, reliability, and quality, all the while enhancing our employee and workplace experience,” he said. “We are truly in the earliest stages of a cultural shift that is driving the reimagination of the workplace experience and one thing is clear: technology is going to be central to that experience.”
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