Quirky-looking robots could be the future of home delivery

Are you ready to see robots on the street?
  • Autonomous delivery robots could be coming to a street near you
  • Tech company Starship has a fleet of the robots in more than 60 locations
  • The futuristic-looking units last 18 hours on a single charge

Published on May 28, 2024 at 2:47PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 28, 2024 at 6:53PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

Growing up, many of us believed that the distant future would see robots help and improve our lives – and one company is bringing that dream a step closer to reality.

Tech company Starship has a fleet of autonomous robots that carry out swift and efficient deliveries across the US and Europe. 

Launched back in 2014, Starship’s delivery robots have carried out more than six million deliveries, shipping everything from takeaways and groceries to corporate documents and tools.

They’re also pretty cute – look: 

READ MORE! Amazon expands warehouse robot fleet by over 100% in three years

Each unit can run for around 18 hours off one full charge and the average delivery only uses as much energy as boiling a kettle to make a cup of tea. 

As the robots move at just 4 mph – the average human walking speed – they travel along sidewalks, meaning they also help to reduce traffic congestion. So as well as looking pretty cool, they’re good news for the planet, too. 

The robots work autonomously but humans can monitor them and give them a helping hand if required – according to Starship, 99 percent of the time the robots carry out the deliveries entirely on their own.

The bots are kitted out with 12 cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radars – all of which make traveling autonomously easier.

The robots are also fitted with technology that can detect obstacles and react quickly if something is detected. Smart, right?

Now, I know what you’re thinking – ‘how do they keep my delivery safe?’

Well, Starship packs several safety features into their robots to ensure that they’re tamper-proof.

First off, the lids lock and can only be opened by the customer, who is also able to track the order in real time thanks to GPS. Secondly, if anyone tries to pick up or mess with the robot it emits a loud alarm. 

Ahti Heinla, Co-founder and CEO at Starship Technologies, said: “Autonomous delivery isn’t some science fiction concept from Bladerunner for decades in the future, it’s a reality for hundreds of thousands of people every day.

“Building a company like Starship takes at least a decade of perfecting the technology, streamlining operations, and reducing costs to make last-mile autonomous delivery viable and sustainable at scale.

“Now we’re ready to take on the world and with ambitions to build a category-dominating company that can change the daily lives of millions of people in thousands of locations worldwide.”

With the robots currently being used in more than 60 locations – and more set to be added – you might be seeing robots coming to a street near you soon.

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