Home deliveries made by autonomous robots are set to “revolutionise the convenience sector” and could be operating in the UK market as soon as early next year.
Starship Technologies has created six-wheeled robots designed to carry up to three bags of grocery shopping, delivering orders at any time of the day, while being tracked via smartphones.
Keith Cornell, senior advisor at Starship Technologies, told RN this is set to transform the convenience sector and said the company’s aspirations include renting fleets of robots to symbol groups.
As part of its pilot scheme, commercial deliveries have been launched in Greenwich and Milton Keynes in the UK, Germany and Switzerland with companies including The Metro Group, Hermes and Just Eat.
“We have an aging population and sometimes the older generation struggle to get out of their homes,” said Mr Cornell.
“By offering this service older customers are still getting their shopping and because they’re buying from their local shop the relationship is maintained.
“Or you could be at home and cooking dinner and realise you’re short of ingredients.”
Just Eat added it would be announcing ‘big news’ about its partnership with the company at the end of the month.
Sandip Kotecha, who runs a Londis in Cheltenham which offers a Just Eat food delivery service, said: “It would just be fantastic because delivery is so labour-intensive.
“It would have to be cost-effective, but my experience is that people really want home delivery.
“As long as it gets there when they want it, they don’t care how it gets there.”
The home delivery robots are designed to deliver goods locally as quickly as 15 minutes within a two to three-mile radius. They are also fitted with nine cameras and ultrasound sensors enabling them to detect obstacles and prevent vandalism.