The Starship Enterprise, Starship Troopers now Starship Technologies, the company launched by the co-founders of Skype, is hosting trials of its self-driving delivery robots in Greenwich, London.
Starship Technologies (
starshiprobots</a>) to trial delivery <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/robots?src=hash">#robots</a> in London's Greenwich <a href="https://t.co/T9HTR3htlM">https://t.co/T9HTR3htlM</a> <a href="https://t.co/h8spVgDPux">pic.twitter.com/h8spVgDPux</a></p>— TPN Retail UK (TPNRetailUK) March 14, 2016
The robot is designed for local distribution of goods and groceries.
The robots use the pavement, travel at slow speeds and produce zero emissions.
Ahti Heinla is the CEO of Starship Technologies:“We realised less than two years ago with my co-founder, Janus Friis, that it is possible to automate last mile delivery using essentially today’s technology.”
EST startup Starship Technologies from founders of Skype working on robotic courier for delivery services. pic.twitter.com/HP0tNN0LEk— WANAPAGAN (@wanapagan) March 11, 2016
The machine is capable of carrying the equivalent of two grocery bags and can complete local deliveries within five to 30 minutes. Customers can choose from a selection of short, precise delivery slots, meaning goods arrive at a time that suits them.
Ahti Heinla, explains some of the robots features:“So, it has a bunch of sensors and technology. It has the GPS, it has nine cameras – you can see some of the cameras here and here – and obviously it has the gyroscopes and things like that and a bunch of other sensors internally as well. And it’s mostly built on mobile phone technology because actually mobile phones have all of that.”
During delivery, shoppers can track the robot’s location in real time through a mobile app. Integrated navigation and obstacle avoidance software enables the robots to drive autonomously, but they are also overseen by human operators who can step in to ensure safety at all times.