Delivery robot manufacturer Starship Technologies has partnered with Trafford Council and supermarket chain the Co-operative Group to bring autonomous grocery deliveries to Sale in Manchester, England.
The service will initially be available to 24,000 residents across 10,500 households. Orders are made through the Starship food delivery app, with fresh groceries collected from two local Co-op stores in Sale (Washway Road and Coppice Avenue).
The launch in Greater Manchester continues Starship’s recent expansion across the north of England. The company’s robots have already been deployed across the UK in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford, Cambourne, Cambridge and Leeds.
Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council’s executive member for environmental services, said, “We are excited to be working with the Co-op and Starship Technologies to launch this new initiative in the Sale area. The robots are a lot of fun, and it will be great to see them taking to the streets of the borough. But there is a more serious message here – Trafford Council is totally committed to helping the environment and reducing our carbon emissions and the electric robots could well contribute towards those aims.”
Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship Technologies, said, “We are very pleased to offer the benefits of autonomous delivery to thousands of residents in Greater Manchester from today and continue our expansion in the north of England. The robots provide ease and convenience for people, while also making a positive contribution to reducing congestion and carbon emissions. We are confident that the service will be well received and look forward to a long-standing relationship with Trafford Council to hopefully roll the service out further in the months ahead.”
Chris Conway, e-commerce director, Co-op, said, “Co-op stores are well placed in the heart of local communities to provide quick, easy and convenient home deliveries – whether a full shop or last-minute top-ups. We are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to our products and services and are delighted to be able to rollout autonomous robots to the streets of Greater Manchester.”
With a delivery fee starting from just 99p (US$1.20), Starship’s robots are battery-powered, lightweight and travel at the speed of a pedestrian. They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment.
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