The Evolution of Last Mile Delivery

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Jaan Hendrik Murumets, CEO of Krakul, joins the IoT For All Podcast to discuss micromobility and the evolution of last mile delivery. Jaan begins by introducing himself and the company before talking about what micromobility is. He then transitions into discussing how last mile delivery has evolved and how IoT plays a role in it. Ryan and Jaan then move more high-level with conversation about areas of evolution for smart cities, challenges in the industry, and advice for companies starting their IoT journey.

About Jaan

Jaan Hendrik Murumets is the CEO of Krakul, Estonia’s leading IoT and autonomous systems developer, and the CTO of Bercman Technologies, a Nasdaq First North listed deep-tech company developing traffic safety solutions. Jaan is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Electronics Industries Association. In 2020, Jaan was nominated Estonian Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020.

Interested in connecting with Jaan? Reach out on Linkedin!

About Krakul

Krakul helps startups and enterprises achieve business success with unmanned platforms and IoT products. Krakul’s ability to collaboratively bring products to market rapidly, solve technical challenges, and achieve business success sets them apart from other design, product development, and engineering agencies. Krakul’s comprehensive approach to working with the full product lifecycle (planning, development, production, supply chain, and scaling) is what helps its customers succeed. They can support their customers in all stages of their IoT-related projects, from ideation to prototyping and manufacturing.

Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:

(01:24) Introduction to Krakul and Jaan

(03:35) What is micromobility

(05:33) Evolution of last mile delivery

(09:04) Areas of evolution for smart cities

(12:17) Challenges in the industry

(14:40) Advice for companies starting their journey


Transcript:

– [Voice Over] You are listening to the IoT For All Media Network.

– [Ryan] Hello, everyone and welcome to our episode of the IoT For All Podcasts the number one publication and resource for the Internet of Things. I’m your host, Ryan Chacon. If you are watching this episode on YouTube we would truly appreciate it. If you would give this video a like and subscribe to our channel. If you’re listening to us on a podcast directory please feel free to subscribe to the channel. See the latest episodes as soon as they are out. All right, on today’s episode we have Jaan Hendrik Murumets, the CEO of Krakul. They are a company that helps startups and enterprises achieve business success with unmanned platforms and IoT products. Great conversation. We talk a lot about micro mobility in IoT space. We talk about different solutions across couple different areas of IoT. We talk about last mile delivery. What does it mean? What does the evolution look like of last mile delivery which is a phrase I’m sure many of you have heard many times. We also talk about different challenges they’re facing in the space, the component shortages and other things alike. So all in all great conversation, I think we get a lot of value out of it, but before we get into it. Any of you out there are looking to enter the fast growing and profitable IoT market but don’t know where to start, check out our sponsor Leverege, Leverege’s IoT solutions development platform, provides everything you need to create turnkey IoT products that you can white label and resell under your own brand. To learn more, go to iotchangeseverything.com, that’s iotchangeseverything.com and without further ado please enjoy this episode of the IoT For All Podcast. Welcome Jaan to the IoT For All Podcast. Thanks for being here this week.

– [Jaan] Yeah, hi Ryan. It’s good to be here.

– [Ryan] Absolutely. You wanna kick it off by just doing a quick introduction about yourself and tell us a little bit more about you?

– [Jaan] Sure, yeah. So I’m Jaan, I’m currently the CEO of a product design company called Krakul which we’ve been doing for nine years now and focused on IoT applications and autonomous platforms. And that’s really where we have all of our pedigree.

– [Ryan] Fantastic, so tell us a little bit more about the company and if you could share a little bit more about kind of any projects that or use cases that you’re more actively involved in just to kind of give our audience a little bit of detail there.

– [Jaan] So in 2013 a childhood friend of mine basically started designing PCBs or like electronics for a couple of companies. One of them is Bikeep, which is like they say they enable micro mobility. So they build like smart bike locks e-scooter charging stations and so on. And then like a military surveillance drone company called Three Odd Systems. So both of those companies were founded at basically the same time. And then we started designing electronics for them and it sort of grew from there organically. And we’ve been involved in like a number of last mile delivery projects both like autonomous or just like terminals. I don’t know even how to describe them but just like very like very different projects. Last year we shipped a camera which is going to the moon next year hopefully. On NASA mission. So as I said that like very big variety.

– [Ryan] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So one of the topics I wanted to talk to you about is around micromobility in IoT and kind of how that fits together. Can you for our audiences sake just explain what micromobility means. And then also start diving a little bit more into kind of how IoT is playing a role in that.

– [Jaan] I think that, like the best definition I could come up with on this part would be it’s figuring out a way how one single person goes from point A to point B, and it’s sort of a bit like agnostic to what you use for transport. It could be an Uber or an e-bike or e-scooter. It’s just, you choose whatever fits you most at that point. So I guess birds, lime, Uber, just any bicycle.

– [Ryan] And how is kind of IoT technology playing a role in that space?

– [Jaan] I think, I mean without like even GPS and mobile networks something like borderline would not be feasible at all and really moving one person is only a part of the equation. I think another part is perhaps we could even reduce the number of trips required by like different last mile delivery applications and sort of meeting somewhere in the middle where every errand you have to run or every place you have to be is not a question of sitting inside an internal combustion engine vehicle and driving somewhere.

– [Ryan] So we’ve actually, we’ve had guests in the past kind of mention last mile delivery but it’s really never been explained in detail and kind of we never really dove into it too much. Can you just kind of talk to our audience about what last mile delivery really means? What kind of what’s the evolution of last mile delivery looked like kind of over time like as to where we are now and what we can do now that we maybe couldn’t do years ago given the new technologies that are enabled.

– [Jaan] Yeah, I think maybe going back, I guess at first last mile delivery wasn’t really solved at all because you had to go to the post office to receive whatever you ordered. And then like from there, you could order something where like USPS would bring it to your house and leave it somewhere down to where today we have autonomous robots driving around our capital, bringing people food from dark stores. Just if you order food it’s delivered to you by robot or I guess this isn’t really that popular in the US but here we have like four or five different companies that offer parcel like terminals where whatever you order is put into a machine which only you can access then like on your way home.

– [Ryan] Oh, right like a storage locker?

– [Jaan] Yeah, basically like that, like Amazon was also yeah. And yeah just robots driving around, bringing new stuff. I think it’s like fascinating compared to Amazon does like a person brings you something. And they do it the same day.

– [Ryan] Right, right, right, right. Well, there’s a lot of logistics and kind of components to making that run efficiently. I would imagine. So what is kind of in your mind, besides the people being bringing things like the physical person, the robots even drones, being able to deliver things that last mile what’s really changed about the data, the systems that have been built in order to enable this to be something that’s even possible.

– [Jaan] I think both in terms of like computer vision running slam algorithms on like smaller and smaller power budgets is a game changer and just the ubiquity of GPS or GNSS systems and really all the, like the sensor fusion in between because I remember working on some projects where or like without absolute positioning, it just, it would be impossible. But to going to now where the infrastructure supports millions of devices that are always aware of where they are and where they need to be is just amazing. And also maybe optimizing every single part of the chain to where robots are loaded by robots instead of like huge warehouse complexes being run by people.

– [Ryan] Absolutely. And then, since this is a pretty interesting application in the smart city space, how, what other, I guess from your experience in the projects you’ve worked on or had exposure to, where have you seen other areas of smart cities kind of evolving, like leading use cases where’s that kind of market at right now given where maybe people thought it would be that kind of thing. Just kind of curious your thoughts on the smart city space in general?

– [Jaan] Well, our company I’m involved with is developing and we’ve deployed devices for uncontrolled pedestrian crossings where we’re working on using radar and camera to detect collisions or I guess possible collisions in the future to notify the pedestrian and the driver of like an impending collision. And to warn them on that really like gathering information on how people move around cities what their speeds are, what the dangers are and so on, then we’ve built a couple of different projects for like bike locks, e-scooter locks or like parking stations and people movers as well. Like just buses, on demand, public transport. I think they call it. Really a lot very different things happening in this space right now.

– [Ryan] Yeah, it’s very exciting space. If you kind think about it of what potentially could be done. I think there’s a lot of hurdles for smart city adoption technologies depending on the city itself and the infrastructure in place the how tech savvy are the people making the decisions in this, in this space, what kind of ROI are they looking for? What’s their budget look like? What’s the process for getting things even approved. So it’s a very interesting space to kind of keep an eye on because it reflects or effects many many people as these different technologies and solutions are kind of deployed out in the world that are interacted with by the citizens.

– [Jaan] Definitely, I think globalization has led to a situation where local municipalities are competing against each other to like pull in, especially tech workers around the world and to make a very livable space for them. And from my hometown, which is a university town I can see just how much effort they put into making sure that the quality of life is there so that when the tech workers come and bring their families, they would want to stay. And I think this is really pushing forward, sort of the quality of life for all of us now, wherever we live.

– [Ryan] Absolutely. Totally agree. So, one thing I wanted to kind shift our conversation a little bit to, is just generally speaking from your perspective and point of view, what are some of the biggest challenges that are facing the industry right now when it comes to IoT, that, you know, just from your side of things where are you seeing the biggest challenges? I mean, the component shortages, integration things like that. Like what is really standing out from the work in the work you do from a challenges perspective that maybe customers or yours are facing as challenges. And then generally speaking, what advice is there from your side that could help these companies or individuals overcome those challenges that you’re seeing to kind of help things move forward?

– [Jaan] Well, component shortages honestly I don’t for my own like mental health reasons. I don’t even wanna get into it because it’s really bad, but it is manageable. It just, it’s such low added value work that it gets depressing but I found it, it can be quite difficult to make users understand the value of what you’re doing. And that’s really where engineers need to find a more like where engineering and marketing has to work together where there’s no point something that no one wants to use. But also there’s, I think if you’re on the cutting edge of things the onus is on you to also like train your buyers or introduce your solution to them in a way where they like they can grasp the value. So I think a lot of really interesting projects fail in marketing, not in engineering which is like that’s been my focus kind of, I try to like liaise between engineers and the end users and to find what like good design principles, because IoT is it’s apps it’s things you can’t even see a lot of the times is infrastructure. It’s maybe millions of devices around the world. And it’s just so like, it has so many different facets that all have to work together and they have to provide some measurable value to a person.

– [Ryan] Absolutely. No, I couldn’t agree more. Have you kind of, I guess, what advice do you have for companies looking to kind of get started on the journey of bringing solutions, any kind of IoT related things to the market, or just adoption in general, any kind of general advice out there for people on how to approach?

– [Jaan] Just tooting my own horn but you can always ask me or just ask anyone smarter or someone who’s gone down the path before. But I think it’s iteration and testing that’s what it is.

– [Ryan] Yeah, I totally agree with you. Yeah, I think that’s a big part of it. I think having a clear understanding of what problem you’re trying to solve, finding the right people to help you build it, run a pilot correctly, scale, you know, then it get just eventually get to scale but there are a lot of pieces, like you said, the testing the iteration that happens in between and making sure all the right components are put in place, the infrastructure’s correct. And as well as making sure that it fits the ROI that the company is looking for which is not always the case, but there’s a lot of options. Now, when it comes to connectivity, hardware, software all the different pieces are, there’s so many different options that you should be able to find something that fits to be able to solve your use case in almost any situation. So yeah, it’s a very exciting space to be part of, for to your point a second ago, about asking you follow up questions for audience out there who wants to potentially learn more follow up and ask any questions about anything we talked about today or just learn more about the company. What’s the best way they can do that?

– [Jaan] Just contact me on email JaanKrakul.eu or find our website. There’s a nice little box you can write in.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for being here. I really appreciate your time. This is being able to kind talk about the smart cities space. Talk about micro mobility. Talk about last mile delivery. Those are all things we’ve kind of touched on in episodes. Some we do dove a little further in but definitely Micro Mobility and last mile delivery we haven’t talked a lot about I think it’s something that we’re all affected by or interact with on a regular basis. We just maybe don’t think about it in those terms. So I think it’s a very exciting space and I’m really looking forward to kind of the evolution of it. One thing I wanted to ask you before I let you go here is on the company side of things on the Krakul side is there anything new and exciting or ending happening on in the coming weeks or months that we should be on the lookout for to kind of stay in touch and kind of follow along?

– [Jaan] Absolutely, we try to post as much news as we can really we’re dependent on our clients and we try to sort of follow up, follow with and echo their own marketing strategies but there’s should be news coming in a couple of months at least.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. Awesome. We’ll be sure to link this up with or link the website and everything yet you have going on in the description in, in the copy we write for this. So yeah, I really appreciate your time. Thanks so much for being here and it was great chatting with you.

– [Jaan] Yeah, thanks for having me.

– [Ryan] All right, everyone. Thanks again for watching that episode of the IoT For All Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode please click the thumbs up button, subscribe to our channel and be sure to hit the bell notifications. So you get the latest episodes as soon as it become available. Other than that, thanks again for watching and we’ll see you next time.