Uber Eats Japan Inc. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will launch a new food delivery service from Wednesday in central Tokyo using self-driving robots, with plans to roll out the service more widely in the future.

The sidewalk robot deliveries will be initially offered in a small area around Tokyo's Nihombashi district from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with two restaurants participating. Customers cannot specify that they wish to have their orders delivered by robot.

The box-shaped robot is 71 centimeters long, 46 cm wide and 60 cm high. It runs on six wheels at around a maximum speed of 5 kilometers per hour and can carry up to 20 kilograms.

An Uber Eats Japan Inc. self-driving robot makes a delivery in Tokyo's Chuo Ward on March 5, 2024. (Kyodo)

In a media demonstration Tuesday, a robot navigated itself to a restaurant to pick up a food order before successfully delivering it in around seven minutes to the customer located around 300 meters away. It was seen telling pedestrians to watch out for it as it crossed the road.

The robot, developed by U.S.-based startup Cartken Inc. and modified for the Japanese market by Mitsubishi Electric, uses artificial intelligence and cameras to avoid colliding with people and obstacles.

Japan will be the second site of Uber Eats' autonomous delivery operations, following the service's implementation in a few cities in the United States.

A self-driving robot picks up a food order at a restaurant to deliver it in Tokyo on March 5, 2024. The operator of Uber Eats food delivery service in Japan and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. demonstrated the robot to the press a day before the launch of a delivery service using the robot available only in a limited area of central Tokyo. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo