The new Starship delivery robots are one of many new companies broaching into the robot delivery subscription market.
More options for autonomous delivery cars and robots are popping up all the time.
The Kroger chain of grocery stores partnered with Nuro not too long ago for deliveries. Car companies from Toyota to Mercedes-Benz to Volkswagen are in on it, too.
Now, Starship Technologies throws their hat in the mix with their robot delivery system.
A Fledgling Startup Goes for Another Test Drive
Starship Technologies, a startup founded in Estonia, helped to ratify laws in five U.S. states. In Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia, and Idaho, delivery robots can go on sidewalks now. However, Starship Technologies hasn’t broken into the U.S. market yet.
Starship Technologies conducted initial testing in Washington, D.C. in 2016. But no other U.S. expansion has occurred as of yet beyond the legislation pushes. They plan to expand into the San Francisco area in the next year.
Resembling adorable Volkswagen vans, the robots work with many online merchants including Amazon and Asos.
Starship delivery robots feature six wheels with a top that opens and closes. They are autonomous, making delivery easier, safer, and hopefully faster for everyone. If it seems very simple, that’s because these little robots are quite simple.
As their own website says, you can “Order anything online” as you normally would.
Then, Starship delivery robots make that delivery to you at a time that’s convenient for you. Since many delivery options don’t go outside of the 8 AM to 6 PM range, this makes life a bit easier for the person ordering and the company delivering.
It essentially works as a delivery subscription service you can customize to your schedule.
Impressive Funding for Future Expansion
The company uses a package hub and users get their own unique Starship address. The companion app enables control of this, as well as seeing the active Starship delivery areas near you.
Since your deliveries go to a Starship hub, the company can also hold deliveries for up to 30 days. After that time, the company reaches out to customers to make a delivery.
The company monitors the robots remotely now, having had human “chaperones” beforehand. In fact, the Starship delivery robots function in 20 countries and 100 cities. They’ve also traveled around 125,000 miles so far in the last few years.
With impressive investors including Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, they have the budget to see their goals come to fruition. To date, the company has raised an impressive $42.2-million USD in funding.
But, the service doesn’t come free. The subscription currently costs around $10 USD and around £8. For U.K. members, however, the first month is free.