Technology

UK's Co-op Rolls Out Starship Delivery Robots In Cambridge

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UK retailer The Co-operative has launched delivery robots in Cambridge in association with Cambridgeshire County Council and Starship Technologies.

The move follows a pilot in Cambourne earlier this year, with 98% of people saying they would recommend the delivery robots to their friends.

Co-op's grocery delivery service is available to approximately 12,200 residents within the Cherry Hinton and Queen Edith areas of Cambridge.

Chris Conway, e-commerce director at Co-op, said, "Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to its products and services.

"Co-op stores are well placed in local communities to provide quick and easy home deliveries – whether a full shop or last-minute top-ups. We are pleased that the trial has expanded into Cambridge and, has been seen to contribute to the reduction in unnecessary car journeys while providing flexible options online for shoppers in our communities."

Shoppers can order groceries via the Starship food delivery app, available on iOS and Android, which are picked fresh in local Co-op stores on Perne Road and Cherry Hinton Road and delivered in the area.

Residents have the option to receive their purchases in under an hour and watch the robot travel in real time via an interactive map.

Once the robot arrives, shoppers receive an alert and can meet and unlock it through the app.

'Robot Delivery Service'

Councillor Alex Beckett, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways and transport committee said, "We are excited to see how the robot delivery service integrates into the day-to-day lives of the residents of Cambridge.

"The advancement of technology has been the backbone of Cambridge for many years now and this is just another step towards a cleaner more sustainable future. "

The Starship robots used by the delivery service are battery-powered, lightweight, and travel no faster than a pedestrian at four mph.

The robots use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch, Co-op added.

The energy consumption of an average delivery using these robots is as much as boiling a kettle to make one cup of tea

Created by the co-founders of the communications system Skype, Starship currently operates a fully commercial service in five countries around the world and partners with Co-op in several towns and cities in the UK.

Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship Technologies, stated, "We are delighted to be expanding our on-demand, quick and sustainable grocery delivery service to an additional 12,200 residents in Cambridge.

"Our friendly robots have been very well received, and as a result are actively reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions in the areas they operate in."

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest technology news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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