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November 1, 2018

Autonomous package-delivery robots are ready to steal your mailman’s job

by John_A

Starship Technologies

The machines are here, and they’re going door to door in a neighborhood near you. Well, that’s if you live in the Bay Area in California or the city of Milton Keynes in the U.K. But don’t worry, this isn’t some Terminator-style robot army ready and willing to enslave humanity; these robots simply want to deliver packages for you.

Autonomous delivery robot manufacturer Starship Technologies claims this represents the world’s first commercial rollout of autonomous package-delivery robots in the world. An army of hundreds of wheeled delivery bots are due to commence delivering packages directly to customers’ front doors.

What makes Starship Technologies’ delivery robots interesting isn’t simply the fact that they make us feel like we’re living in the future. They also promise to cut down on package theft in cases where packages are left unattended. That’s because customers can use an app to say when and where they want their package delivered, and then keep an eye on the delivery robot’s progress in real time. Customers will pay as little as $10 per month for the service.

“We’re excited that, thanks to our technology, local communities across the globe will never miss a home delivery again,” said Lex Bayer, Starship’s CEO, in a statement. “Today, more than ever, people lead busy and diverse lives. 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. 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.”

This isn’t the first time Starship’s autonomous delivery bots will take to the street. The robots are already being used for deliveries in places like college campuses. Earlier this year, the company raised an additional $25 million, which its co-founder told Digital Trends would go toward expanding its fleet to more than 1,000 robots. The newly announced delivery service in San Francisco will commence before the end of the year; it has already kicked off in the U.K.

Although Starship is certainly on the cutting edge when it comes to this kind of technology, it’s not the only startup working in this space. In both Germany and Norway, the national postal services are busy introducing their own delivery robots, which will be delivering mail and packages to customers in the very near future.

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