UK-based Starship Technologies descended upon Austin this week to show off their adorable and efficient delivery robots that they are hoping will revolutionize the home delivery space. Described as looking like “a futuristic printer on wheels” by the Austin American Statesman, these little guys use GPS and video cameras to maneuver city sidewalks and deliver food and packages to customer doorsteps.
Company representatives brought the robots for a tour of Austin to generate interest in testing them in U.S. markets, and the ATX is at the top of their interest list because it is “innovative and forward-thinking,” says Starship Technologies Marketing and Communications Manager Henry Harris-Burland.
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From the Statesman:
Here’s how Starship’s robots are intended to work: When a customer pays for food or an item of clothing, an option to use the Starship robot will appear. If a customer selects this delivery option, they will receive a notice via an app or online when that item has been delivered to a nearby hub. After selecting a delivery time, the robot will arrive at your doorstep in 15 to 30 minutes, Harris-Burland said.
They aren’t capable of climbing stairs or taking elevators, so a customer will have to meet the robot at the door, he said. Also, if the package or food isn’t to your satisfaction, you can pop it back in the robot and send it back.
The robots are soon to launch in London and Germany. Starship is currently looking for commercial partners, as well as researching what they need to gain permission from the city of Austin to attempt to launch here soon.
So what’s to come of your favorite bowtie t-shirt wearing Favor driver or the UPS dude with the killer calves? Well, that’s still to be seen, but it’s unlikely they’ll be completely putting delivery people out of business. Because then who would be around to sponsor Ferrari at Formula 1?
However, once the Amazon drones take flight in the air and these guys start scooting along the ground, it’s probably time for all of us to hang up our hats and start worshiping our robot overlords.
Featured photo courtesy Starship Technologies Facebook