2019 is bound to be the surprising year in the technology market, given the advent of more advanced services and products such as gadgets, chatbots, artificial intelligence, and maybe even automated driving. For robot delivery service Starship Technologies, its 2019 operations appear to bloom with 1,000 delivery bots across 20 campuses. This is a whopping increase to their original two campus setup a few years prior.
According to BBC News, the change comes after trials with service Just Eat for Starship Technologies to try delivering takeaways to people in the South London area. While delivery bots are far from the norm within the next few years, the move from Starship Technologies is proof that society is on its way to a more automated future.
Starship Technologies was created by two of Skype’s co-founders last 2014, and told BBC News they had raised as much as £15-million in terms of funding in 2017.
Starship Technologies: How Do Their Bots Work?
It appears the machines, while small, do have quite a high top speed, with 16.1 km/h or 10mph if pushed to its highest. The robots are also equipped with GPS, radar, nine cameras, and ultrasonic sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles and find its way to its receiver.
It’s often accompanied by a human minder or guardian if it had to deliver in busy areas. Interestingly enough, Starship Technologies said none of their robots were vandalized or stolen across 100,000 miles of its completed delivery journeys.
When the robot does arrive to its destination, the recipient will be receiving an SMS message that contains a link to help unlock the robot and get the contents inside.
This service, originally tested with South London’s Just Eat, will now be expanded to co-ops in the Milton Keynes area. Test projections will include 200 of the most commonly-bought grocery items in the area for testing.
Starship also said that aside from Milton Keynes, tests in Hamburg are also being done with spare tools and parts. The same robots deliver these from building to building, and from one desk to the next. This greatly helps ease overloading in terms of business deliveries, as a lot of employers and employees do ask for personal deliveries in their workplace because of convenience.
Milton Keynes: A Hotspot For Robotics
Interestingly, Milton Keynes can be recalled as an area also earmarked as a testing ground for driverless cars in the United Kingdom area.
Henry Harris-Burland, VP for Marketing at Starship, remarked that campuses in the area are like robot playgrounds given their “popularity” with robot manufacturers.
Dean Bubley, technology analyst, did tell BBC News that the selection of co-ops as testing grounds can help alleviate some concerns companies may have when it comes to tests. As after all, the general public will still have unpredictable reception to these automated machines, so responses are still very challenging to assess.
Things such as security, accidents, liabilities, and stray objects are still factors that have to be carefully evaluated before these tests are even conducted to the general public.
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