Starship is a six-wheeled ground robot that can navigate streets and sidewalks autonomously.
Starship robots make food and package deliveries more efficient, more convenient and more sustainable – improving everyday life. Our cute robots bring joy to the delivery world and save you time in the process.
Starship robots are created and operated by Starship Technologies. The company was founded in July 2014 by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, with Lex Bayer joining as CEO in June 2018 from Airbnb. To date, the company’s robots have operated in 20 countries and over 100 cities around the world, encountering millions of people along the way. The robots are designed to deliver goods locally in minutes. They drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control at any time. In late 2018, Starship announced the world’s first commercial rollout of autonomous package delivery on the ground, with hundreds of robots set to start delivering packages straight to consumers’ front doors in the Bay Area, Calif.
Starship’s business headquarters are in San Francisco, the company also has engineering offices in Estonia & Helsinki and a UK presence including London and Milton Keynes.
Equipped with GPS, lidars, navigation cameras, sensors, and deep-learning algorithms, this autonomous robot can navigate its way along paved roads or indoor sites, and deliver objects safely and contactlessly. With a six-wheel structure, it stably climbs curbs and efficiently delivers items, equipment, and food. Using cameras, this robot can correctly interpret streetlights and signs, and lidar technology allows for accurate real-time environment mapping, even during rainy days or dark settings. Deep-learning algorithms process data from all these sources in real-time to enable the robot to interpret its surroundings correctly, thus helping to make intelligent decisions, avoiding collisions, and improving performance through experience.
Starship’s sidewalk deliver robots travel up to 4 mph and weighs around 80 lbs. They can carry around 20 lbs at a time. The robots uses a mixture of computer vision and GPS to know its location. Each one is equipped with twelve cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to help it detect obstacles in its path.
One of the most outstanding benefits of Starship Technology Delivery Robot is that it is faster. Customers are now able to order for food or items and receive them immediately without wasting too much time waiting or moving around to receive them. In addition, Starship Technology Delivery Robot is cost-effective in the sense that the only requirement is for a customer to download the app and pay a monthly subscription of around $10, which makes it the cheapest delivery service in the United States (Stanford business, 2016). The Delivery drone is more reliable since once it is released, there are high chances that it will reach its destination without failure.
The delivery robots are also fitted with an alarm that quickly relays the information regarding any attempt to interfere with them while on transit. The alarm makes the tracking easy and the necessary steps can be taken to ensure that item finally reaches its destination. The technology uses programmed map, GPS, and pedestrian sidewalk on its way to the delivery destination, which this helps it to avoid obstacles (Pafford, 2018). The robot is also fitted with speakers and microphone that enable it to communicate effectively with human workers or pedestrians, which improves its effectiveness. As a result of the invention of drones, the society is expected to benefit from increased efficiency and the reduction of cars that cause pollution.
Over 4 million autonomous deliveries!
Thousands of delivery robots operating globally, everyday.
Delivery robots have been introduced without taking serious security concerns and privacy issues into consideration. The major security concern facing drones is an insecure connection since a number of delivery robots depend on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless protocol to access the internet (Clark, Doran, & Andel, n.d). In most cases, these methods of connection are insecure and can result in a loss of data or complicate how data is transmitted. The poor encryption method associated with connection methods also allows anybody to get access to the data and obtain sensitive information necessary to perform an attack or cause harm. In addition, the robotic system is installed on the computer and computer-related machines hence are majorly exposed to the threats of cyber-attack. The main cause of cyber-attack is attributed to insecure communication between robots and users, which gives hackers the capability to hack into the insecure communication link at any time.
Robots & Obstacles
Some neighbors further down my road were moving and had placed a sofa on the walkway. My delivery robot then promptly stopped and was completely blocked. As an experiment, I walked up a bit closer to see if the robot could squeeze through, and it had plenty of room to get past it, but as a safety measure, it didn’t find it safe to do it on its own. After 15 minutes of waiting, I’ve contacted customer service, telling them that my robot stopped. The operator quickly took over and said to me that a sofa blocked it, and that it was now on its way again. It was a positive and smooth interaction, but it shows that these robots aren’t perfect, and still require human interaction on rare occasions like this.
Further research should be centered on developing the legal framework and regulation that will facilitate the operation of the delivery robot on the sidewalk. Proper regulation is essential in ensuring smooth operation of the robots, and that any issue arising from the pedestrians or customers are dealt with within the confine of law. The research should also aim to establish how the security feature of the robot can be improved to ensure minimum human interference and maximum data protection to improve efficiency.
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