Monday, November 28, 2016

Robot delivery coming to Silicon Valley, Redwood City

Image result for Starship Technologies delivery robot  picture
Thanks for delivering lunch!
Image result for Starship Technologies delivery robot  picture
Nice toy, but are you practical?
The Mercury News/Aaron Kinney, update 11/25/16, "Redwood City ready to debut futuristic delivery robots." 

"REDWOOD CITY — Starting in a few weeks, people walking in Redwood City will notice something strange underfoot: six-wheeled robots delivering food, groceries and packages in the downtown area.  By early 2017, there will be as many as 20 of the robots, or personal delivery devices, cruising the sidewalks as part of a ninth-month pilot program approved this month between the city and a European company launched in 2014 by two co-founders of Skype.

....  The pilot project is one of two in the United States — the other is in Washington, D.C. — and the latest step in the company’s plan for a rapid global expansion. Starship Technologies, headquartered in London, has also approached Menlo Park and Sunnyvale about a pilot project, conducted an autonomous driving test with its robots over the summer in Silicon Valley and performed testing this fall in Redwood City."  Read article.

Image result for Starship Technologies delivery robot  picture
Beep, beep, don't step on robo.
Image result for Starship Technologies delivery robot  picture
Ur, careful crossing the street.
Related article, presentation to Sunnyvale. Mercury News/Victoria Kezra, 11/24/16, "Little robots delivering packages and groceries? It could happen in Sunnyvale." "Henry Harris-Burland, marketing and communications manager at Starship Technologies, gave a presentation Nov. 15 to Sunnyvale City Council members, asking them to consider allowing the company to run a test pilot program in the city using “autonomous delivery robots” that would deliver parcels, groceries and food. .... Because of their size, robots travel only on sidewalks and curbs. Harris-Burland told the council that one of the company’s robots could take as many as 10 delivery cars off the road. The robots use GPS and their own software to find their way around cities."

Related approval, US Department of Transportation. Digital Trends, Drew Prindle and Ed Oswald, 7/6/16, includes YouTube video, 1:49 minutes, "Starship Technologies' cute sidewalk drones will roll into London soon." In the U.S., Starship Technologies has gained approval from the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation to begin tests of the (ground-based) drone. Given that D.C. is a “no-fly zone” for airborne drones, Starship’s option appears to be a solution to that problem. It is the first ever approved test for ground-based drones anywhere in the U.S., and they should begin in September and continue through to the end of 2017.  Reference. Starship Technologies:  Starship Technologies/about.   Press Release - Starship Technologies.  Wikipedia.

Note photographs, Left:  Woman eating lunch (delivery from Just Eat) from Vemtire Beat/Paul Swers, 7/5/16, "Just Eat and Starship Technologies to power food delivery in London with self-driving robots." Robot crossing the street Emirates Business, 11/28/16, "Meet Robbie, the bot which delivers your shopping." Right:  Older man viewing robot,  Robohub/Robocars/Brad Templeton, 7/7/16, "Starship delivery robots getting ready to deliver in London, Germany, Bern." Younger man viewing the robot image to Swiss Post, 8/23/16, "Swiss Post to test self-driving delivery robot."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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