Starship are starting a major commercial rollout of autonomous robot delivery services for corporate and academic campuses across the US and Europe. This comes on top of continued growth in robotic food, grocery and parcel delivery in residential neighbourhoods and if you live in Milton Keynes you may have already been ‘chased’ by a Starship robot where they are busily delivering a range of Co-op grocery products.
Starship’s initiative is the first large scale deployment of autonomous delivery services, supporting campuses by implementing robots to assist in work and school environments. The robots offer on-demand delivery anywhere on participating campuses via an app and can deliver all manner of items from food and office stationery to tools and spare parts in large Campus environments.
The robots can be easily deployed in specially-designed pods that can be stationed around campuses, providing automated battery-swapping as well as housing for the robots while off duty. The pods can be designed to fit in with the architecture of the campus or neighborhood they operate on, and come in various sizes to accommodate different numbers of robots.
“We’ve partnered with Compass Group on the Intuit Mountain View campus in the US to provide accessible, convenient and sustainable robotic delivery and after a successful start to the year and great reception to our robots, we are planning to dramatically expand our services and distribute thousands of robots across campuses around the world by 2019.”
– Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies
On Intuit’s Mountain View campus, workers can order food and drink via the Starship app for delivery throughout the day across all 4.3 acres of the Intuit campus. On average, a Starship robot takes 17 minutes to deliver food, coffee or snacks on the campus, giving people more time to be productive or enjoy their breaks around their campus, instead of queuing for lunch.
It’s been proven in Milton Keynes that robot delivery services can be successfully deployed on the public streets (they’ve done some 40,000 miles with no thefts or vandalism). However unleashing them across the country would be much more difficult than in a campus environment where it’s doubtless easier to get permissions and erect recharging stations so they can operate with minimal human intervention.