Robots manufactured by Russian corporation Yandex have begun delivering letters and parcels for Russian Post – the country’s national postal operator. Initially, the robots will only be active in Moscow, where the robots will deliver parcels from 27 post offices in several districts of the city.

According to Yandex, 36 robots will be part of the pilot project with one or two being assigned to the 27 post offices – depending on the office’s workload. Russian Post staff will be responsible for charging and changing batteries, loading the parcels into the robots, and noting the delivery address in the system, while Yandex employees will provide maintenance and remote support.

“Our autonomous robots are already being used for a wide range of tasks, not only in Russia but also in other countries,” says Artem Fokin, head of business development for self-driving technologies at Yandex. “The automation of parcel delivery by Russian Post, one of the world’s largest postal operators, is a logical step in the development of delivery, and we hope to scale this technology further.”

The explosive growth of e-commerce is inevitably transforming delivery processes, says Stanislav Chernin, head of innovation at Russian Post. “Every part of the logistics chain can be automated, and technologies are changing processes at every stage: from the first to the last mile.”

Russian Post, Chernin adds, “is open to innovations that make our services more convenient for customers. We are delighted to pilot an autonomous delivery option, to create a business process and study it in detail”.