I'm tired of Amazon being the only delivery service to my house. I wanna build a grocery getting Robot!

So as some of you may know on here, I’m a poor bastard. As such, I live off of EBT. This is further compounded by not having a vehicle that’s running, so everything has to be delivered by mail. I recently tried to purchase bread through Amazon, only to find out I couldn’t. (with EBT) Even though last week I could? Anyways, I want to build a robot that will travel 30 minutes to the next town, to the walmart there so I can buy groceries there. In my head this robot has a camera and a gps mounted to a giant box (the inside is cooled with Peltier plates) and has an arm to facilitate CC transactions. And to power the whole thing I want to use three of those electric wheelie boards that kids play with. Anyone think this would/could work?

I imagine there are more legal restrictions than physical restrictions. Is this robot traveling on the road? Is this robot going to be allowed in the store? Will it be allowed to use self-checkout or forced to wait in line like other humans?

Neat idea, but there are some significant hurdles to jump through, especially if you’re building this on your own


You are going to have a ton of issues getting it permission operating on roads. Also this will 100% cost more then used car.


Assume that people will vandalize this thing.


I wish this wasn’t an issue, but it 100% is. Especially if you’re near a college campus

At this point I would just go out and buy an e-bike or a moped. Cheaper than a car and you can get stowage crates to carry stuff on them. The robot would end up being impractical due to a myriad of issues.


Remote controlled something something may be doable.

  • camera and GPS are good, would also include ways to sense “ran into object” (= ultrasound)

  • Peltiers are eh… Having a 10 to 20W solar panel on top of the box may just about work.
    Bunch of Electronics Projects (Basically a blog now) - #106 by MazeFrame
    The easy route: Insulate the box and put something in there with high heat capacity (= frozen water).

In theory, absolutely. Problem is that an electric (cargo) bike would be cheaper, easier to use and more “socially acceptable” so to say. The peltier-cooling box could still be a project worth exploring.

I don’t care about legality or social acceptance at all. I just don’t want to have to leave my house EVER. I live out in the country, so I doubt anyone would care. Insofar as vandals, IDK, maybe.

and yeah, I have looked into electric bikes, they are just ridiculously overpriced. To get anything worth buying it’s over 1000 dollars.

You can build your own, sure prebuilt is overpriced but you can 100% put together your own for less


if you have mechanical skill. Yes. Do I have mechanical skill? If I touch it, it breaks.

They how are you going to build a robot to pick up groceries?

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I’d do the electronics, I’d let someone else do the mechanical stuff. Like at the local college. IDK, I’m mostly daydreaming here. More than likely I’ll just fail at one more thing.

Honestly just do the Ebike diy build, will be a good project and it really isnt all that hard. Devember is coming up and there are prizes I am sure hardware dev work would count imo.

A big drone would be a better solution (at least for lightweight stuff), but unfortunately, governments banned the use of drones above a certain dimension. They also banned the use of most of the radio spectrum for personal use, with the exception of maybe 2.4GHz and 5GHz, so there’s basically no solution for long-range direct control. Maybe you could use a SIM and control it via the internet, but you obviously need cell tower coverage.

There are basically 0 options for cheap grocery robots. In the future, we could see, maybe, potentially, some approval of self-driving cars, going to pick up your groceries from a pick-up point at a gigantic store and maybe be allowed to go to a drive-through restaurant and order stuff remotely. But for now, nothing can help you isolate yourself in your house.

Quarantining could be so much easier if people would be allowed to innovate, but no, you needs lotsamoney and literally a personal assistant, or for someone to take pity on you and assist you, or the worse part, buy a car and use muh roads and potentially spread, ifyouknowwhatimean. For bugmen and city dwellers, it should be somewhat cheap with delivery services, but for people living outside big cities, well, literally go kys. It’s not fair, but hey, muh government is restraining your ability to have a decent life “”“for your own good.”"" I sometimes wish roads didn’t exist, so stuff would be at a walking distance. I hate roads.

Probably not in his budget

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I agree with most of the sentiments here. A bike or a DIY electric bike would be the best solution at this point. Heck, even a 2nd hand scooter would be good.

You don’t have Instacart in your area?

It’s only like $10 for delivery.

If you’re not driving, no need for a car or gas or car insurance. The cost of one month of that would not only cover the cost of premium Instacart membership it would also cover the delivery fees easily. Shopping smart and get orders once a month or biweekly to keep costs down.

Grow a garden for herbs and highly used items. Dry/dehydrate/can what you don’t use to save for times of unavailability.




pretty much my only option at this point. @mutation666