Robots to be used for home delivery?

A pilot scheme is to be launched in London allowing delivery robots to deliver top up groceries. Starship technologies have entered a partnership scheme with the local authority in Greenwich to start using the robots. The programme aims to demonstrate “how easily the friendly curb-side robots can integrate into human life” The cost for local delivery using the robots is currently £1.00. The robots use the pavements like pedestrians and travel at a slow speed with zero emissions. The robots are monitored by human remote controllers. However the robots still need to be tested for safety.

The specs of Starship’s delivery robot

The robot weighs about 9 kilograms and is able to hold a similar weight of goods. “It can’t hold a flat-screen TV but it holds three bags of groceries or two pairs of shoes”, Keith Cornell, the company’s senior advisor, explains.

It travels at up to 6.5 kilometers per hour and is programmed to avoid obstacles; it can hop up curbstones and over cobbles. The robot also knows to wait if it is about to encounter a large group of people so they can pass.

The delivery robot is locked throughout the journey and can only be opened by the recipient via their smartphone. The driving drone has nine cameras which can capture the face of someone who is trying to steal or damage the robot. And if that’s not enough to put them off, the robot also has a microphone and speaker to warn them off.

Starchips chief Ahti Heinla says: “The robot has been in development for almost two years, and we’ve experienced unprecedented levels of interest and goodwill – so it’s great to now be taking the first step to rolling our little robot out for real. The robot has been very well-received by pedestrians in all of the interactions we’ve seen so far, so it’s very exciting to be officially introducing the robot to the British public.”

Starship Technologies is planning to launch similar testing programmes in the United States and plans to unveil the first pilot services in cooperation with its service partners in the UK later this year.