Starship Technologies, co-founded by Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis of Skype fame, raised $17.2 million in January to build a fleet of six-wheeled delivery robots. More feasible for large-scale rollouts than drones, these delivery bots are scheduled to have their American debut in Washington, D.C. and Redwood City, California in early February.
On test day, the Starship company will have an employee walking behind the bot—which is basically a secured container box rolling along at 4 mph—to deal with unexpected incidents and too-curious pedestrians, according to CNN Money.
The company’s first two U.S. customers will be Postmates and DoorDash, but their product is already pretty street savvy. The Starship baby has already been tested in the U.K., Germany, and Switzerland, where it has delivered food orders, groceries, and parcels. As of November 2016, the bot had over 12,000 miles under its belt (or under its wheels, if you will).
I – Word Understanding
Fleet – a large number (of delivery robots)
Feasible – possible to do
I – Have Your Say
1. This delivery robot has “nine cameras, a 360-degree ultrasonic sensor array, and an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor” to take in its surroundings, map the environment and avoid obstacles. And its navigation system is reportedly more precise (by 1.5 meters) than “the best non-military GPS receivers” out there. It runs at 4mph. What do you think of this delivery robot?
2. How is the delivery system in your country? Are you satisfied? Please describe.
3. What do you think is the future of delivery services? Here are some potentials:
– Delivery robots
– 3d printing