Will delivery bots revolutionise last mile deliveries?

Innovation watch

Will delivery bots revolutionise last mile deliveries?

20 Aug 2018 Tallinn

Starship is the only last mile robot delivery company that has moved beyond the pilot stage to actual commercial operations. Steve Banker explains how they're doing it.

Alibaba recently announced a last mile delivery robot called the G Plus. This is an important announcement. They are not the only company operating in this space.  Starship Vice President Henry Harris-Burland says that his company is the only last mile robot company that has moved beyond the pilot stage to actual commercial operations.

The robots can be used to deliver parcels, groceries and food on campus environments and within residential neighbourhoods. One of the target markets is delivering food from restaurants or consumer goods from stores and specialised hubs to consumers and businesses within 15 to 60 minutes. The robots’ entire journey can be monitored on a smartphone. And the deliveries are inexpensive: USD1.99 in the US or GBP1.00 in the UK!

The consumer downloads an app, makes the order, and then sticks a pin on the map where they want the goods delivered. The delivery point might be a home or business, or just somewhere the customer knows they will be. When the robot arrives, the customer uses their smartphone to open the bot via the app. In other words, there is a layer of security, as the robot is locked at all times and can only be opened by the recipient. One customer is public...

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