San Francisco is getting tiny self-driving robots that could put delivery people out of a job
A robot that looks like the love child of an ice box and R2-D2 pulls up outside a house in San Francisco. The lid pops open, uncovering a box of pastries inside."I got a delivery from a little roaming cooler, it looks like," Julie O'Keefe, 67, tells the San Francisco Chronicle.
The startup has already begun testing in Europe, encountering more than a million pedestrians, and plans to start test in the Bay Area in the next couple of months.Starship's robotic couriers will pick up goods from a centrally located logistics hub or storefront and ferry them to homes within a two-mile radius. Through a partnership with Mercedes Benz, the company is also experimenting with loading a bunch of robots into a modified Sprinter van that drops off bots along its route.
The company hopes to price its delivery fee between $1 and $3.Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. The robotics gurus cut their teeth working on a bot that could collect rock samples on Mars and the moon. They later used the technology they developed to power the delivery guy (or autonomous vehicle) of the future.
For now, Starship wants to employ the bots - which use cameras, GPS, software, and the company's proprietary maps to navigate the world around it - to help senior citizens and people with mobility issues get what they need.
"There's a whole raft of people who are boomers, who are going to start retiring," Starship advisor Brad Templeton tells ABC7 News.
While the single-dollars delivery fee makes Starship's service an appealing alternative to delivery apps like Postmates and Uber Eats, robots roaming the streets without supervision might be enough to scare away some skeptics.
In July, a 300-pound security robot from autonomous technologies startup Knightscope was on patrol outside a Stanford, California, shopping mall when it allegedly ran over a 1-year-old child, causing minor injuries.But it might be some time before Starship's fleet hits the streets of San Francisco en masse.
- Chris Gayle appears four times in the top 10 list of most sixes hit in an IPL match
- Up-close and not so personal with Munnar’s pit vipers, gliding frogs and more
- Haryana government extends lockdown in the state till May 24
- UK's Cairn Energy identifies $70 billion Indian assets for seizing to recover amount due from government
- States to receive nearly 51 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in next three days, says Union Health Ministry