If you see how the world with autonomous cars would look like you should see how the delivery robots work. Starship has many robots delivering food in the UK and we decided to know more. The autonomous cars we have seen so far have level four autonomy and they had to have a human inside to prevent any accident, but the fully autonomous delivery robots have been roaming the roads for over two years. They do have a connection with a human sitting in the control center, who would interfere if need be.
We decided to go to Northampton to explore their secrets, and whether the car industry can benefit from them. It appeared like a box, like a microwave, quite lonely it was. The people walking around were paying no attention to it, even the couple, to who it gave room to pass. As we move towards the Co-op, we could see more of them. Some were moving along the pavements and some were waiting at pedestrian crossings. The adult simply ignored the robots, but the young children were more interested, and they thought it was fun when the robot thanked the Co-op assistant.
We talked with one of the shoppers and she said she first saw them on TV and immediately thought they could be useful. They are not a risk and they slow down and give you room to pass when they see you. Another said, she once helped a robot climb a curb, and it thanked her.
The robots are built and operated by the US Company Starship Technologies. The first town-center robot delivery service commenced in 2018, after the development process of four years. The town, now, has the highest number of delivery robots, with 120. More robots are working at university and college campuses and US cities.
The robots are battery-powered, with a life of 15 hours and a top speed of 4mph. They make use of the 10 cameras, 3D radar, and ultrasonic sensors to see and sense the surroundings. They follow pre-mapped routes as it helps them travel with accuracy.