Amazon had surprised us a year ago with its plans to deliver packages using drones and now here we have Skype founders develop a new robot which will deliver packages in the neighborhood for under £1.
The little robot is named Starship and as we told earlier it has been developed by Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, both Skype Co-founders. The robot transits on the pavements at a speed of 4mph and it uses navigation technology and native mapping to reach its destination. At this juncture the Starship robot is still being tested out and are intended to be used primarily in the suburban areas. The first pilot of the Starship robot will be Greenwich in East London.
The Starship Robot can comfortably carry a payload of 20lbs (9Kgs) and will be placed at the nearest Hub. The robots may be charged and cleaned once they return to their hubs, only if deemed necessary. The stowage space will remain locked until and unless the customers unlock it using their mobile app.
Starship is completely autonomous but if necessary, humans can override and take control. The GPS, Gyroscope, inbuilt mapping data along with a slew of cameras will guide the robot on the pavements. That being said, the robots need to familiarize themselves with the route by mapping the area which includes any type of undulations and potholes. Starship can call out to people with speakers and ask them to give way.
The last leg of the delivery logistics has always proven to be the most difficult part, if delivered manually the delivery boy needs to find a parking space before he can attempt the delivery and more importantly the traffic constraints can play spoil sports. The Starship Robot will help the local hyper delivery market where time is of essence but that being said the robot can be a hindrance for people walking on the pavements and in all likelihood authorities may take a tough stance against it, just like the Segway.