A six-wheeled intelligent robot will be rolling down the streets of Greenwich, London.
The robot, first launched in 2015, is designed for local delivery of goods and groceries for consumers for under £1 per shipment. The robots use pavements like pedestrians, traveling at slow speeds and with zero emissions.
“Our robots are a totally new class of devices that will provide a combination of low cost and convenience with less congested streets and zero emissions,” said Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies.
“The robot has been in development for almost two years, and we’ve experienced unprecedented levels of interest and goodwill – so it’s great to now be taking the first step to rolling our little robot out for real. The robot has been very well-received by pedestrians in all of the interactions we’ve seen so far, so it’s very exciting to be officially introducing the robot to the British public.”
The robots are lightweight and low-cost, enabling the company to bring the current cost of delivery down by up to 15 times per shipment. The robots drive autonomously most of the time but are monitored by human remote controllers who can take over the control at any time.
The public introduction program aims to demonstrate how easily the friendly curbside robots can integrate into human life. Throughout the next six months, the robots will be visiting towns and cities in all four nations of the UK, culminating with launch of pilot delivery services later this year.
Starship Technologies, which was launched by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, is planning to launch similar testing programs in the United States in April and plans to unveil the first pilot services in cooperation with its service partners in the UK later this year.