Driverless delivery vehicle designed by UH engineering students close to launch

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marc Arakaki, (808) 228-3215
Content Producer, UH Communications
Posted: Jun 13, 2021

Link to video and sound (details below):

WHAT: The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa may soon have its own fully-autonomous delivery vehicle thanks to a project by College of Engineering students. 

WHO: Students comprising team UH Parcel Service (UHPS) have created a wireless prototype driverless delivery vehicle capable of traveling up to four miles per hour, carrying a load of up to 300 pounds, traversing up inclines of 15 degrees (more than most wheelchair ramps) and delivering and receiving packages. 

WHY: UHPS was tasked with creating an autonomous delivery vehicle to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to make the delivery of products more cheaper and efficient. Then during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for contactless deliveries grew exponentially making this technology even more desired.

WHEN: Fall 2020 and spring 2021


Additional details: 

  • While the prototype is able to travel in straight lines and make turns autonomously, programming it to travel across the UH Mānoa campus will be the task for next year’s team.

  • UHPS overcame many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including getting accustomed to virtual meetings and finding time to safely meet in person to test out their prototype.

  • UHPS is part of the Autonomous Electric Vehicle System, one of more than a dozen Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs) at UH Mānoa, which are uniquely designed to include faculty mentors, graduate student researchers and undergraduates from freshmen to seniors. The more experienced members mentor newer members, passing down their knowledge and expertise, and the process repeats itself annually. The team comprises two separate groups: VIP students and students from a Department of Mechanical Engineering senior design course.

  • UHPS received nearly $5,000 of funding for the project from the College of Engineering and the UH Mānoa Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

  • Team members Daryll Suyat and Roxanne Balanay were part of Maui High School’s robotics team before attending UH Mānoa.


0:00-0:28 - UHPS delivery vehicle

0:38-1:52 - UH engineering students working on the autonomous delivery vehicle


Roxanne Balanay, UH Parcel Service electrical lead

(10 seconds)

“I hope to see UHPS autonomously navigating around the campus making deliveries, and it’ll take a lot of work especially in the autonomous part but I’m excited for what it will become.”

(13 seconds)

“I took advantage of those skills that I learned from robotics and use them and actually improve upon them and being able to see the outcome of it just really made me really proud of how far the vehicle had come.”

Daryll Suyat, UH Parcel Service project manager

(18 seconds)

“Just a bunch of different metals you welded into a frame, and just have a bunch of wires, a bunch of different components and being able to see it run and actually run fairly well was a really great experience for me.”