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Nuro R3 EV Is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

 Nuro R3 EV Is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar


Meet the Nuro R3, a cute compact robotic delivery truck designed to bring sweet and savory treats to you.

Nuro is a robotics software developer founded by former Waymo engineers. The startup has been developing its Nuro Driver AI-powered autonomous driving software and hardware package since its inception in 2016, which can be found in its Nuro P2 robotaxi concept, the R2 — an even smaller delivery pod — and now the R3.

The Nuro Driver software senses the world through a 360-degree array of lidar, radar, thermal camera and optical camera sensors, churning all of the data through its mapping, perception and AI navigation software. R3 is able to detect and avoid other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and more as it makes its way to its destination. However, due to R3’s planned operation in city environments and neighborhoods with high pedestrian density and proximity, the robotics developer has outfitted the delivery bot with external pedestrian airbags, which can deploy to further boost safety should, say, a person dart into the EV’s path from behind a parked car.

R3 rides on a battery electric platform and powertrain built in partnership with Chinese EV giant BYD. Nuro estimates around a 100-mile range per charge with DC fast charging capability minimizing downtime between trips. For a passenger car, that’d be a pretty short range, but the R3 operates only between a local partner store, your neighborhood and back, so Nuro thinks (and I agree) that’s plenty for this intended use. 

Open bays on the Nuro R3 displaying snacks and storage Open bays on the Nuro R3 displaying snacks and storage

This R3 is configured as a mobile snack bar, but Nuro envisions the EV used for all sorts of deliveries.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Interestingly, a Nuro representative told me that it expects to gain around 20 miles of additional range when the R3’s architecture switches to Nvidia’s newly announced and more efficient Thor computing architecture for its autonomous drive processing. Turns out AI-crunching data eats up a lot of watts. The Thor horsepower bump will also help supercharge and optimize Nuro Driver’s performance, improving safety and reliability.

This particular R3, found on the show floor at Nvidia’s GTC conference in San Jose, California, this week, is configured as an autonomous snack bar that delivers sweet and savory treats and drinks to hungry customers without the need for a driver or cashier. Users will approach the R3 and enter a PIN on its touchscreen interface to open its dual lifting doors. 3D cameras monitor what items are being picked up and automatically add them to the cart. Tapping the screen again closes the doors, completes the transaction and charges the customer’s account. R3 can then move along to the next spot.

R3 features 360-degree laser, radar and optical sensors, as well as a pedestrian airbag for unexpected events.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Nuro envisions the R3 as more than just a candy cart. It’s partnered with companies like FedEx, Walmart, Dominoes, 7-Eleven, UberEats and Kroger and is exploring a variety of uses and cargo types for its little electric delivery pod. R3 could deliver packages and groceries or keep piping hot pizza warm right up to your doorstep with little, if any, reconfiguration.

Nuro is currently licensed for autonomous operation and testing in California and Texas with plans to bring the R3 online and on the road in late 2024. Your next pizza or midnight snack might be delivered by this cute little llidar laden lump.



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