Delivery Drone Company To Start Testing Robots On London Streets Next Month

23/02/2016 11:19 | Updated 23 February 2016

A new delivery drone company plans to revolutionise the way we do our shopping by replacing your weekly trip to Sainsbury's with a tiny delivery robot which will bring your fruit and veg straight to your door.

delivery drone

Starship Technologies have built a small six-wheeled delivery robot or 'ground drone' which can travel at 4mph for up to 30 minutes and can deliver the equivalent of three bags of shopping.

Developed by the co-founders of Skype, Starship's delivery robots are expected to cost 10-15 times less than conventional delivery methods (vans, mopeds) and can be tracked by the customer using a smartphone app.


“Our vision revolves around three zeroes – zero cost, zero waiting time and zero environmental impact. We want to do to local deliveries what Skype did to telecommunications.” said Ahti Heinla, a Skype co-founder and CEO at Starship Technologies.

Each robot has both 3G and GPS built-in which helps it travel safely around while an array of cameras and sensors will make sure it won't become the new nemesis of cyclists.

delivery dron

To protect against thieves the drones are locked during delivery and can then only be opened by the customer via the smartphone app.

If someone does try to steal the drone then cameras located on its body can take pictures of the thief. If it gets in trouble every drone can be remotely controlled by a central operator.

To prove that humans are finally ready to see robots wandering the streets the company, based in London, will begin open-world testing on the streets of Greenwich.

Amazon have also begun investing heavily
in the arena of delivery drones, but in its case the company is building an aircraft which would launch from the depot and then land outside a customer's house.

amazon prime air

While many brushed off Amazon's new service as nothing more than a crazy concept, Amazon is deadly serious not only about building the drones, but also about changing the way we shop at all.

To prove it they've set some rather ambitious goals which, knowing Amazon, they'll absolutely meet.

1. They'll deliver any package under five pounds by drone.
2. Deliver anywhere in a radius of 10-miles from the depot.
3. All drone deliveries made just 30 minutes after you press 'Order'.

Robots In 2016: These Are The Robots And Drones That Will Change Our Lives

  • 1 Robots that can deliver other robots:
    Amazon Prime Air is a drone delivery service which the company is currently testing. The company aims to deliver products within just 30 minutes of the customer pressing the 'order' button. (AP Photo/Amazon)
  • 2 Robots that could soon be saving lives:
    MARK RALSTON via Getty Images
    The robot 'CHIMP' developed by Team Tartan Rescue from the US prepares to complete a task during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. It is hoped that these robots will eventually replace emergency services workers during events like the Fukushima nuclear disaster. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 3 Robots that can carry your stuff:
    MARK RALSTON via Getty Images
    A robotic cheetah runs during a demonstration at the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. DARPA's four-legged robots have been designed to carry supplies and ammunition for the US Army. Capable of travelling over tough terrain the hope is that these will eventually replace the need for trucks or small vehicles. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 4 Robots that can kill:
    AFP via Getty Images
    A sentry robot freezes a hypothetical intruder by pointing its machine gun during its test in Cheonan. South Korea unveiled a high-tech, machine gun-toting sentry robot that could support its troops in detecting and killing intruders along the heavily fortified border with North Korea. The weapons-grade robot can detect, raise the alarm and provide suppressive fire. (KIM DONG-JOO/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 5 Robots that can race each other:
    YOSHIKAZU TSUNO via Getty Images
    Japan's motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor introduces the prototype model of a motorcycle riding robot 'Motobot' during a press preview at the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo on 28, 2015. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
  • 6 Robots that are toys:
    The Sphero BB-8 remote controlled droid is on display at CES Unveiled, a media preview event for CES International, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Las Vegas. The robot is controlled by an app for a mobile device. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  • 7 Robots that will do your weekly shop:
    A new delivery drone company plans to revolutionise the way we do our shopping by replacing your weekly trip to Sainsbury's with a tiny delivery robot which will bring your fruit and veg straight to your door. (Starship Technologies)
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