Korea Seven, which operates 7-Eleven stores in South Korean, has partnered with Neubility, a South Korean autonomous robot start-up, to commercialise autonomous robots for short-range delivery.

Most large convenience store chains in South Korea offer delivery to customers via third-party food delivery apps. For example, the popular Yogiyo food delivery app delivers groceries and other products from CU and GS25 chains. Typically, third-party delivery services receive about $3.51 per delivery.

The domestic food-delivery services market hit $19.8 billion last year, according to the South Korean Fair Trade Commission.

Korea Seven’s agreement with Neubility calls for it to commercialise the autonomous robot Neubie in Seoul and surrounding areas by the end of this year. Neubie robots can navigate deliveries in urban areas in any weather conditions.

However, it can be difficult for these robots to operate in the Gangnam district because the numerous skyscrapers could block the satellite signals needed for the robot’s GPS system. To overcome this, Neubie robots have cameras and sensors in addition to GPS, so they are more adaptable for those areas.