Jan 31, 2023 - News

Pink robots with heart eyes join Miami's autonomous testing ground

A three-wheeled remote-control robot with heart eyes and a pink exterior.

Have you seen this guy around town? Photo: Courtesy of Tiny Mile

Who is that shorty giving you heart eyes on the sidewalk? It's Geoffrey, your newest robot neighbor.

What's happening: A fleet of small, pink robots with digitized hearts for eyes has been roaming downtown Miami for the last couple of months, offering free delivery service to anyone who's interested in trying it out.

  • The zero-emission robots, operated by Toronto-based Tiny Mile, can be used for personal errands like returning a book to a friend, delivering lunch or sending a love letter.

Why it matters: Tiny Mile joins a series of pilots that have turned Miami into a testing haven for autonomous innovation.

What they're saying: Miami is the ideal location for a robot-delivery service because of its weather, population density and hospitality to the tech industry, Brendan McGonigle, head of revenue at Tiny Mile, told Axios in an email.

  • "Miami has long been welcoming to the creative, and recent years have really demonstrated an acceptance and appetite for innovation," he said. "I think this is why you've seen lots of tech establishing a footprint in Miami."

How it works: 20 robots are available on demand, covering a service area that includes downtown, Overtown, East Little Havana and most of Brickell.

  • The robots are operated through a mixture of autonomous functionality and remote control, McGonigle said.
  • Users can request a free delivery at tinymile.ai by inputting the pick-up and drop-off addresses and the name and phone number of the recipient.

Of note: The package can't be heavier than 20 pounds or bigger than 12-by-12-by-10.5 inches.

  • Some items are prohibited, like drugs, alcohol, firearms, money and extremely perishable items like raw meat.

What we're watching: Tiny Mile has long-term plans to remain in Miami and will launch a smartphone app by the end of February, which will provide real-time tracking and a smoother user experience, McGonigle said.

  • He said the company views the service as a public utility and hopes to offset costs by finding a sponsor to advertise on the robots.
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