You’ve heard of Amazon’s plan to deliver packages using drones; now a new company called Starship is promising to disrupt local delivery with the launch of a self-driving robot that can deliver groceries to customers’ doors in under 30 minutes for less than £1.
The Starship robot has been developed by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. It drives on pavements at an average speed of 4mph, and uses proprietary mapping and navigation technology to avoid crashing into obstacles, (check out the video we made).
Starship is currently testing and demonstrating prototypes of the robot, and plans to launch pilot services in the UK in 2016. Mr Heinla said the robots are primarily intended for use in suburban areas. One of the first pilot areas will be Greenwich in East London.
Each robot can carry the equivalent of two grocery bags (20lbs). They will operate out of hubs – shipping containers that are specially built or co-located within grocery stores or warehouses. The robots will return to their hubs between deliveries to recharge and be cleaned if necessary.