Starship Technologies announces their robots will be trialled by delivery company Hermes, in a bid to create more options for last-mile delivery in the suburbs.
The Starship robots manoeuvre on six-wheels and have a height of just over half a metre and length of just less than a metre long. Each robot is designed to have a secure compartment for parcels weighing 10kg or less, which will be able to allow the robot to travel at a speed of 4mph. When the robot arrives at its destination the consumer will be given a unique access code to unlock the robot via a link generated by a smartphone app.
They are designed to be used within a two mile radius of a control centre where they will be able to navigate autonomously 99% of the time, but if there were to be any complications, an operator at the nearby control centre will have the ability to take control of the robot to steer it out of a dangerous or tricky situation if necessary.
The life of a single charge on these robots is three hours, which means the robots have to have their batteries swapped when they return to base manually to minimise downtime. When the trial phase is over the battery swap process will be automated as well to provide maximum efficiency.
Hermes has started trialing the robots in Southwark to act as an alternative to vans and drivers for last-mile delivery in the suburbs.
Fleet News reported: Henry Harris-Burland, Starship Technologies vice president of marketing said; “We’re not suggesting these robots will replace the entire delivery industry. This is strictly for last-mile delivery in suburban locations and it is part of a raft of solutions companies can use in addition to their traditional fleet of vehicles.”
Starship Technologies owns all of the robots and also handle management, maintenance, operation and charging, which will be available to customers at either a pay-per-delivery method or monthly subscription, dependent on a company’s specific needs. During trials with Hermes in London, the robots will be accompanied by a member of Starship’s team so that they can monitor their journeys and gather data.