Starship officially releases 25 autonomous delivery robots into the wild


  • Tech News
  • Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

Starship has released another fleet of autonomous delivery robots. — AFP Relaxnews

Starship has released another fleet of autonomous delivery robots. — AFP Relaxnews

Starship is launching a fleet of two dozen autonomous robots to deliver Starbucks and pizza to college students in Virginia.

Starship Technologies, a small company specialising in the development of self-driving delivery vehicles, released its first fleet of autonomous delivery robots on the grounds of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, according to the publication Fast Company.

Each of these 25 cute little robots can be requested by app to deliver up to 20lbs (9.07kg) of goods across campus from retailers like the local Starbucks or grocery store. When the delivery bot arrives in the residency of a student – which is expected to take no more than 15 minutes – the app can be used to unlock the storage compartment so one can retrieve their coffee or food.

The robots use a collection of cameras, ultrasound and radar-based navigation technologies to make their way around small areas in rain and snow while artificial intelligence makes their decisions. According to Fast Company, the delivery vehicles were "designed to look non-threatening, and the robots politely pick a side of the sidewalk to try to avoid annoying pedestrians".

Since 2017, the robots have been undergoing tests at Intuit's campus in California and in Milton Keynes, England, safely delivering hot and cold goods alike. Since Virginia has legalised the public implementation of autonomous delivery robots, George Mason University became the ideal place to officially launch a fleet.

The company's goal is to use the robots to replace traffic-inducing and pollution-emitting vehicles. To Starship, it simply doesn't make sense to use a 3,000lbs (1360.78kg) vehicle to deliver a burrito.

– AFP Relaxnews