European start-up, Starship Technologies, led by the co-founders of Skype, are unleashing the robotic helpers – after a series of successful tests.
Hi-tech robots are set to take to the streets of several European cities this summer. They could be the future of your pizza or grocery home delivery.
Allan Martinson, the Chief Operating Officer of Starship Technologies said they have so far done a lot of research on the technology just before unleashing it.
So its basically not a driver, not a guy on a scooter, but a robot driving up to your doorstep and announcing that your pizza or Indian or Japanese is ready
“We have by now driven around 5,000 miles or 7,000 plus kilometres on public sidewalks. We have seen almost 400,000 or half a million people, we have learned a lot about public perception and social acceptance which has been overwhelmingly positive so now we will start to learn to do real deliveries,” said Allan.
The six-wheeled carrier use pavements just like pedestrians and travels at three kilometres per hour. Integrated navigation and special software has been designed to stop any accidents.
Customers can track the robot’s location with an app. Speakers and a microphone even allow you to talk to it.
“So its basically not a driver, not a guy on a scooter, but a robot driving up to your doorstep and announcing that your pizza or Indian or Japanese is ready. It will be a completely different experience to anyone expecting food delivery,” said Allan
The robots are designed to deliver items within a three to four kilometre radius in suburban areas.
“What’s been really exciting to see is the advancement of technology, particulaly in the last three of four years around robotics which has made this really achievable in the coming years, not ten years away,” said David Buttress, CEO of Just Eat who is also looking forward to use the technology in improving his services.
The cyber-courier is powered by batteries and, in order to navigate autonomously, uses nine cameras, various sensors and GPS technology.
But they’re monitored by humans who can take control at any time.