Starship Technologies plans to rapidly expand its presence in the UK in the next 12 months, with plans to launch in an additional 18 campuses by 2019.
“These campus environments are like robot playgrounds,” said Henry Harris-Burland, Starship’s vice president of marketing.
“In Hamburg we are delivering spare parts and tools between buildings and to people’s desks. Sorting offices in some businesses are becoming overloaded as people order more personal deliveries to their workplace.”
The company, which has become known for its delivery robots powering Just Eat’s automated food delivery project, has partnered up with the Co-Op in Milton Keynes to deliver groceries to local residents.
Although probably not the best option to use if you get him from work to find the fridge empty, the robots can transport a bag of shopping to you at a speed of 10mph.
In busy areas, Starship’s robots are accompanied by humans, just in case someone tries to steal the shopping or they wander off route/can’t deal with obstacles in their way.
However, this doesn’t appear to have been an issue in initial trials, which have seen the robots roam 100,000 miles so far, delivery a variety of different goods to customers.
Starship Technologies says its robots will pop up in more places across the UK, the US and Germany over the next year, serving university and work campuses, which are safer environments than allowing them to hit the public roads (and of course, risk getting injured or injuring someone else along the way).
To attempt to avoid such obstacles, the delivery vehicles are equipped with sensors for detecting barriers, nine cameras, a radar and GPS system to help them navigate to their end destination.
The recipient of the goods is only able to unlock the storage compartment of the robot with a text code sent to them upon the robot’s arrival.