While Google is still trying to get things off the ground with delivery drones and self-driving delivery trucks, Starship Technologies are getting small delivery robots in the wild with a series of trials throughout Europe.
The robots have six wheels and like Google’s delivery robots—that will work in tandem with the delivery drones—will make use of sensors to navigate streets, obstacles, and traffic. The size of the robot is enough to carry a few small packages or better yet deliver food which it is doing for several services throughout Europe.
There are security measures here. The robots have a nice sized lock box for goods as well as cameras and loudspeakers. When the robot arrives at its destination, the customer will need a PIN to unlock the box. All in all, it sounds like the details of Google’s delivery drones and the platform they will need.
The test period will see the robots navigated by humans from its loading site to its destination. This period will allow for a library of pre-established routes to be stored for when the task of getting from point A to point B are handed over to the computer.
Starship could be the first to the line on using delivery robots. It will be through their work that other companies looking to get into this arena could see what problems they need to hammer out—which is the purpose of the company’s test runs now. There are a lot of situations for the bots’ computer that will need to be addressed that can be handled by a human controller who can see and knows how to deal with those situations.
Starship Technologies will be testing in Bern, Switzerland, Dusseldorf, Germany, and London, UK, but there are plans to have test runs in other parts of Europe and in the U.S starting with Washington D.C.