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Delivery Robots: 4.7 million automated urban delivery vehicles by 2032

  • Internet of Things
  • IoT
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AI
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Drones
  • Delivery Robots
  • E-commerce
  • Food Delivery Robots
  • Last-mile Delivery
  • LiDAR
  • Package Delivery
  • Retail
  • Robotics
  • Robots
  • Sidewalks Autonomous Delivery Robot (SADR)
  • Nikita Singh
  • Matt Arnott
This report summarises the status and forecasts from the Delivery Robots Application Group found in the Transforma Insights Connected Things IoT forecast. The report provides a description of what is covered in the Application Group, as well as top-level figures from the forecast that provide detail on how many connected devices will be installed, the types of communication technology used and the total revenue opportunity. Full details are accessible through the TAM Forecast tool.

Report summary

This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the Delivery Robot market. This segment comprises autonomous delivery robots used on sidewalks and paths that deliver retail products, food items, and documents as well as other products. These robots are small in size and are typically equipped with ultrasonic sensors for detecting obstacles, GPS navigation for routing, along with other measurement units and gyroscopes. Most of these robots use cellular communication (usually 4G) technology to process and send real-time information and videos.

Mostly concentrated in developed regions such as North America and Europe, the market for delivery robots is typically triggered by the increasing need and demand for faster and more sustainable delivery services. The report also considers how these devices can create congestion on sidewalks and face stiff competition from drones. Some key organisations such as Amazon and Uber have reflected on the cost and benefits of last-mile deliveries and many of them have reduced their research spending after not meeting the required economies of scale. Yet the market for autonomous delivery robots continues to grow with the rising popularity among tech-savvy consumers and improved technology.

The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market. The forecasts include analysis of the number of IoT connections by geography, the technologies used and revenue.

A full set of forecast data, including country-level forecasts, sector breakdowns and public/private network splits, is available through the IoT Forecast tool.

Key market developments in Delivery Robots Application Group

The report examines key factors that are influencing the development of the market, including:


This section talks about the technologies which delivery robots use to navigate detailed stored maps (including computer vision and others). It then charts the features of their onboard systems, the benefits of those features (like avoiding collisions), and explains how these delivery robots work.

Robots are more sustainable and reduce transportation costs

This section of the report talks about how delivery robots can reduce both emissions and transportation costs and address related issues like urban congestion and more. For instance, a study revealed that between April 2018 to November 2021, around 280,000 car journeys were avoided using delivery robots, which saved 137 tons of CO2 and 22kg of Nox from being emitted.

It then explains how last-mile delivery robots should be fairly cost-efficient, compared to other delivery options once they reach maturity, although the initial investment can be high. For instance, as per Starship Technologies, an individual robot’s cost (which was USD5,500 in 2018) should eventually reduce to USD2,250.

Consumer acceptance of delivery robots

This section expounds upon how people are gradually starting to accept delivery robots, despite showing some resistance towards them at the beginning. It also discusses the reasons that are further likely to increase their acceptance, including increased delivery speed and decreased delivery prices.

Drawbacks: Unregulated markets, limited usage, and the presence of other competitive options such as drones and autonomous vehicles

This section lists some of the drawbacks of delivery robots like requiring regular recharging and continuous connectivity and being subject to vandalism and theft issues. It then explains how their adoption can be hampered by reasons including the availability of alternative solutions (like drones) and others.

Future Outlook

This section of the report explains how many organisations have reduced their research spending after failing to meet the required economies of scale. For instance, in November 2022, Amazon shut down the field testing of its delivery robots and is currently re-orienting the program. It then discusses how e-commerce firms adopting last-mile delivery robots will play a crucial role in their adoption in future.

This report also contains some examples of relevant IoT deployments in this application, like Starship Technologies collaborating with George Mason University (USA) to provide on-demand food delivery via an autonomous robot on wheels.

Key vendors for Delivery Robots

The key vendors section lists some of the main providers of products and services related to the delivery robot market such as Starship Technologies, Kiwibot, Alibaba, Coco, HelloWorld Robotics, Serve Robotics, and Refraction AI. The report provides profiles of the various vendors including aspects most relevant to this Application Group, such as product offerings, pricing, financial results, and technology.

Market forecasts for Delivery Robots

In the market forecasts section, we provide a summary of the forecasts from the Transforma Insights IoT Forecast Database:


The report charts the growth in the number of delivery robots, which will grow from 34,000 in 2022 to 4.7 million in 2032.

Transforma Insights forecasts are compiled on a country-by-country basis. This report includes a regional summary, showing splits between Australasia, Greater China, North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, MENA, Russia & Central Asia, South East Asia, South Korea, India & South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Transforma Insights’ IoT forecasts include splits between the various connectivity technologies as follows: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G mMTC, 5G non-mMTC, LPWA (non-mMTC), Satellite, Short Range, and Other.

This section discusses which technologies will be used in the delivery robots application group.


This part of the report discusses the market growth in terms of revenue (module revenue, service wrap revenue, and VAC revenue). Transforma Insights estimates that the revenue in the Delivery Robots Application Group will grow at a CAGR of 67%.

  • Alibaba
  • Amazon
  • Bell Blaze Pizza
  • Cyan Robotics
  • Domino’s
  • Dunkin
  • FedEx
  • George Mason Technologies
  • Hello Robotics
  • Kiwibot
  • Kroger
  • Nuro
  • Refraction AI
  • Serve Robotics
  • Sodexo
  • Starbucks
  • Starship Technologies
  • Tiny Mile
  • Uber
  • Internet of Things
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Accommodation & Food Service
    • Retail & Wholesale