A Two-Tier Urban Delivery Network with Robot-based Deliveries
In this paper, we investigate a two-tier delivery network with robots operating on the second tier. We determine the optimal number of local robot hubs as well as the optimal number of robots to service all customers and compare the resulting operational cost to conventional truck-based deliveries. Based on the well-known p-median problem, we present mixed-integer programs that consider the limited range of robots due to battery size. Compared to conventional truck-based deliveries, robot-based deliveries can save about 70% of operational cost and even more, up to 90%, for a scenario with customer time windows.
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