There has been a number of autonomous robotic delivery services introduced over the past year to help with last-mile logistics and to accelerate how goods get to consumers including Robby Technologies’ Robby robot that was introduced at CES this year.
Now, a startup has just launched a new service in the Milton Keynes area of the U.K. that uses robots to deliver packages to consumers' front doors at specified times. By the end of this year, the service will be available for residents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Starship Technologies has rolled out what it claims is the first commercial service of the autonomous package delivery service using hundreds of robots for last-mile logistics and goods distribution.
The service is used by downloading the Starship app for iOS and Android, then entering the address where the package will be delivered and a time when the package will arrive. The app will then notify the consumer when the package has arrived via the robot.
According to a recent August Home Package Theft Report, stealing of parcels happens to 42% of city dwellers, 26% of those in the suburbs and 19% of those in rural areas. These victims spend on average more than $200 to replace each package, the study said. Another study from Shorr Packaging found that 41% of respondents avoided purchasing online goods like electronics because they fear the packages will be stolen.
“Today, more than ever, people lead busy and diverse lives,” said Lex Bayer, CEO of Starship, in a statement. “The hassle of needing to re-arrange 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. Starship gets packages to consumers when and where they want them. This is the only service of its kind available in the world today, and it works around your lifestyle.”
To date, the Starship robots have traveled about 125,000 miles in 20 countries and over 100 cities in testing. The robots drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control of the robots at any time, the company said.