Starship Technologies will begin testing smart autonomous robots that navigate pedestrian routes to deliver goods.
There’s been much speculation surrounding potential drone delivery services, but with regulation debates slowing its progress, Starship Technologies are to begin testing an alternative autonomous delivery system using pedestrian robots.
The dog-sized robots are designed to carry small parcels or grocery orders over short distances (currently touted as a 3-mile radius with a 30-minute delivery time). Using smart technology similar to Google’s self-driving cars, the robots navigate local sidewalks, avoiding pedestrians and stopping at crossings along the way. Users make delivery requests via an associated app, through which they also track the robot’s progress and unlock the cargo inside. Human operators are on-hand to take control of the Starship robots should they run into trouble. A pilot service will be made available near the company’s UK headquarters in Greenwich, London in early 2016.
Starship Technologies are aiming to bring a ‘Broadband of Things’ to local areas — forming a seamless connection between goods and consumers to bring an efficient and reliable delivery system. The robots will have zero emission. Will terrestrial robots provide a simpler alternative to autonomous drone services?