If you live in Washington, D.C., or Redwood, Calif., you may have glimpsed a small, boxy robot rolling along a local sidewalk, minding its own business, but attracting the attention of many a curious onlooker.
The autonomous machines — which look like the spawn of an Igloo Cooler and a slow cooker — were part of a pilot program last year by Starship Technologies focused on delivering meals from local restaurants in dozens of cities around the world.
Last week, the company unveiled plans to broaden its delivery service beyond food to include packages, a move that led it to declare itself “the world’s first robot package delivery service.”
“Today, more than ever, people lead busy and diverse lives,” Lex Bayer, Starship’s chief executive, said in a statement online. “The hassle of needing to rearrange your life for a delivery will become a thing of the past. No more having to switch your working from home day, reschedule meetings, visit a locker, drive to a post office or contact a courier all because of a missed delivery.”
The package delivery service is not available to everyone just yet. The company said it’s rolling out the service in Milton Keynes, England, and will expand to the San Francisco Bay area in the next few months.
The company has already been doing food delivery with a fleet of about 20 robots in Milton Keynes, according to the Telegraph.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.