Starship delivery bots working for Swiss Post
Remember Starship Technologies, the company who brought the grocery bot to Britain and Germany? It’s the same team that is behind the ones coming to Switzerland. They will also be tested in Washington, D.C. this Autumn.
The Starship robots, which look like six-wheeled cool boxes, travel slowly on pavements to make their deliveries.
These droids are designed to avoid obstacles, including pedestrians, animals and cars. If they get a bit confused, such as when crossing a side-road with a busy main road running along side it, it will ask the controllers back at base for some help. Bless it.
Not so fast. It looks like the jobs of the Swiss deliverymen are safe for the time being.
Claudia Pletscher, head of development programs and innovation at Swiss Post, says:
We don’t believe in substituting the human being part”
Pletscher was keen to add that the ground robots will be delivering dummy packages for now – so, no prescriptions just yet.
After a few months of testing, Swiss Post will decide if it wants to use the robots regularly. Swiss Post will initially test five of the robots. They won’t travel farther than three or four miles on trips.
Swiss Post stands out as a government postal service with a strong interest in emerging technologies. It has previously tested drone deliveries and self-driving buses.
According to Pletscher, Swiss Post realises that as a logistics company it must stay abreast of trends in machine learning and robotics.
Would you trust it?
I am not sure if I’m ready to trust a trundling floor bot or Amazon Prime Air drone delivery just yet.
How about you?