City centre residents and workers in Milton Keynes can now order food and drinks from selected brands and have it delivered to their door by a robot vehicle.
Starship has spent the past two years running the robots in other areas of Milton Keynes but this is the first time that robot delivery will be available in the centre.
Since April 2018, Starship claims it has made more than 100,000 deliveries across Milton Keynes, with some residents making up to 200 orders per year for goods such as groceries and takeaways. The vehicles feature GPS tracking, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. The delivery service costs around £1.
Andrew Curtis of Starship said: “This new expansion from Starship will help ease congestion in the centre of town by giving people the option of electrically powered robot delivery, where before they would potentially rely on delivery services that use cars and other environmentally unfriendly modes of transport. Both residents within the centre of town and workers will be able to order food at the touch of a button.”
The mayor of Milton Keynes, councillor Sam Crooks, said: “The robots have become an iconic sight in the town and everyone’s excited at the prospect of them delivering in the town centre.
“We’re living in an era where we are more conscious about the individual effect we’re having on the environment, and the centre of Milton Keynes can get very congested. Hopefully, this new service will ease congestion in the centre and make it that bit more environmentally friendly, whilst giving workers the opportunity to experience robot delivery in a town on the front line of new technological advancements.”
Automated delivery technology could also play a role in responding to the global coronavirus pandemic. Several of China’s e-commerce giants have deployed delivery robots amid the outbreak, for example, and they have been used in hospitals.