The robots are coming!
Thousands of autonomous delivery robots will take over US college campuses in the next two years. The robots are coming!
Starship Technologies, the company behind the Starship delivery robot, raised $40 million and is now ready to expand its services. In the next two years, the six-wheeled delivery robots are supposed to spread over college campuses around the US.
The expansion of the robots is not the first of its kind for Starship Technologies, which has already been testing its robots in over 100 cities in over 20 different countries. Moreover, the bots recently reached the milestone of 100,000 deliveries, having travelled over 250,000 miles.
Within the next 2 years, Starship Technologies wants to deploy 25 to 50 robots per campus, reaching a total of 5,000 delivery bots by 2021.
Why college campuses as a testing ground for delivery robots, you might ask? They are usually designed as the perfect habitat for delivery robots. Not only are the students – smartphone-addicts and delivery-minded - the perfect audience, so are the campus areas, which are mostly located within well-defined boundaries and with an abundance of walking paths.
While they are slow, with a maximum speed of 4mph, at least they are electric, and they can work non-stop. In addition, they can carry 20 pounds of cargo, and they have cameras to guide the robot around obstacles towards its destination.
The future of robots
Although Starship Technologies is not the only delivery robot developing in the country, it is the one with the most experience so far. Yet, if the future delivery will be totally up to the robots remains the question.
As this project of Starship demonstrates: the robots need a well-defined area to operate in, and well-walkable surfaces. Hence, campuses (and large corporate campuses) may for the moment be the most suitable domain for the delivery robots to explore.