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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on March 21st, 2017 | by Kyle Field


Autonomous Delivery Robot Wants To Shake Up The Food Delivery Business

March 21st, 2017 by  

Growing up, shows like the Jetsons and Wall-E promised kids around the world a future of robot-enabled leisure, with our time being spent on relaxation, space travel, and star gazing. A new personal delivery robot from Starship Technologies seeks to shake up food delivery with its good looks and speedy delivery capability on the road towards that dreamy sci-fi future.

The robot, which has been dubbed the Starship Delivery Robot, is a different take on personal delivery and, while it is currently focused on takeout food delivery, could easily replace a human when it comes to delivering just about anything that fits inside. Dying for a little boost of caffeine to shake you out of that post-burrito food coma? Perhaps you’re looking for a new solar-powered racecar kit and want it delivered today?

Starship is looking at that exact market with a specific initial focus on food delivery. Starship sums up the little guy on its website:

“Say hello to your personal courier. I’m here to deliver anything you need. Just tell me what, when and where and I’ll do the rest. Because I follow your schedule, you’ll have more time for the things that matter in your life.”

While the initial buzz around the product is focused on how cute the thing is and on the food delivery aspect of its purpose, this little guy also has massive potential when it comes to cutting climate change. It effectively cuts out the whole delivery guy portion of the delivery equation and, with it, the fossil fuel emissions typically emitted from the last mile delivery of packages, food, coffee, and the like.

Now, admittedly, this little guy isn’t going to single-handedly revolutionize and solve climate change, but there is a healthy opportunity that robot-enabled delivery solutions can solve for. Beyond that, I could easily see this scaling into light- and even heavy-duty delivery services, as most serve the same mundane function of moving things from point A to point B with little to no external interaction required if they have the ability to navigate pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic.

Stumbled onto a VW meet up #starshiprobots #volkswagen

A post shared by Starship Technologies (@starshiprobots) on

The Starship Delivery Vehicle has been tested in 59 cities in 16 different countries over the last year, with several pilots underway with commercial partners aimed at validating the solution before scaling up.

It is currently capable of navigating through pedestrian traffic unassisted, even climbing curbs (!!) at a safe 4 miles per hour while carrying loads of 20–25 pounds in the current configuration. The high-tech conveyances tips the scales at just under 40 pounds with an exterior that’s shaped roughly like a 2′ cube (27″ L x 22″ W x 22″ H).

What’s your read on this robot straight out of the future? Would you feel like you were living in the future if your next package showed up in one of these or would it just creep you out? Let us know in the comments.

Source: WaPo | Starship Technologies

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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor.

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