Two of Skype's founders have now developed a new robot, called Starship and there are already trials going on in the United Kingdom to see whether the robot can be used to deliver groceries at home from 2016 onward.
Starship delivers groceries for 1 pound
Will an independent robot deliver our groceries at home in the near future? If Ahti Heinla and Janus Friist, two of Skype's co-founders, have anything to say about it, it will be a part of our future. They developed Starship, a robot cart that can deliver up to 2 grocery bags to a customer's doorstep for 1 pound. The customer can trace the robot through an app and open its trunk for the groceries when it arrives.
Once the district has been mapped out, Starship will operate autonomously for 99 % thanks to a GPS, gyroscopes and cameras. If it experiences problems, an operator can take over control. The robot will use the sidewalk to drive to the customer, at a speed of 4 miles per hour, which should help prevent accidents with other pedestrians.
Several Starship prototypes currently drive around London and the inventors hope they can launch several pilot programs in the spring of 2016. The first pilot program is planned for the Greenwich district in East London. Starship has to rapidly become an alternative for drone deliveries, something Amazon and Walmart have experimented with.