Tags: delivery | robots | europe | homes

Delivery Robots in Europe to Start Hauling Stuff to Homes

Image: Delivery Robots in Europe to Start Hauling Stuff to Homes

A man takes a selfie with a Starship Technologies' self-driving delivery robot in London. (Press Association via AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 11:52 AM

Delivery robots will start to show up on doorsteps in Europe, with businesses from food establishments to retail chains and logistic companies using the devices in a trial program, reported Bloomberg.

Starship Technologies, the London-based company that makes six-wheeled droids, told Bloomberg that Just Eat in London and food delivery startup Pronto Technology will be using its machines in London.

German retail chain Metro AG and logistics company Hermes Group will use the robots in Germany and Switzerland cities, said Bloomberg.

Allan Martinson, Starship's chief operating officer, told Bloomberg that the companies' trial with the robots will involve a fleet from five to 10 robots in one or two areas of each city. Martinson said Starship hopes to make an announcement or more customers including those in the United States within months.

Henry Harris-Burland, Starship Technologies' marketing and communications manager, told the website TechCrunch that this phase testing would span between six and eight months with a full commercial deployment sometime in 2017.

"Abuse is rare and in over 5,000 miles of testing, we haven't had an issue of abuse yet," Harris-Burland said, according to TechCrunch. "However with more and more robots out on the streets, it is a matter of time before something happens and we’re ready for this.

"It is another reason why we're testing the robots in real world environments. The robot obviously has nine cameras, tracking to the nearest inch and alarms to prevent any sort of incident. The robot has come into contact with 400,000 people and there hasn't been an incident yet," Harris-Burland added.

Harris-Burland told TechCrunch that Starship Technologies will try to engage users with an actual human being initially sent with the robot in hopes to educate the public.

"The robots are accompanied by humans in the initial pilot phase of our joint testing program," Harris-Burland stated, per TechCrunch. "This is for a variety of reasons, but also to monitor public acceptance and engagement.

"What will happen when a robot turns up at a customer's door? How will they react? The human there will be able to answer some questions that the consumer may have. Also they will be told they're part of the world's first robotic delivery trials which is pretty cool."

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Delivery robots will start to show up on doorsteps in Europe, with businesses from food establishments to retail chains and logistic companies using the devices in a trial program.
delivery, robots, europe, homes
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2016-52-07
Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 11:52 AM
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