Sound exploration for autonomous delivery robot

Exploration of sound character for Serve, the autonomous food delivery robot from Postmates.

The Los Angeles based US food delivery company Postmates is developing an autonomous delivery robot. The 4-wheeled robot will drive across the city to deliver food all by itself. Postmates approached me to work with them in defining the interaction sounds.

Because the robot will drive on pedestrian sidewalks it will encounter other road users that it needs to communicate with. Therefore it will need to communicate messages like “excuse me, passing through”, “waiting to cross”, “tadaa, here is the meal you ordered!” and a bunch more events. All of them require a characterful audible personality and understandable signalling at the same time. I helped start the discussion around the sonic character of the Serve by mapping out and exploring different directions in which the sound could go.