Washington D.C. has approved one company to launch its ground-based, autonomous robot delivery service.
A new ground-based robot delivery service has been approved in Washington D.C., and one startup company will soon begin testing its autonomous robot delivery service.
According to a new report from Recode, Starship Technologies has announced that its six-wheeled, autonomous robots will soon begin to deliver both groceries and restaurant takeout to homes and businesses. These new robots are intended to solve the “last mile” problem, where packages are transported from the fulfillment center to people’s homes. Amazon has hopes to solve this problem with drones, but the FAA currently requires the drone operator to be in the line of site of the drone; however, ground-based robots have fewer potential problems.
Recode reported that Starship is currently seeking additional cities that will allow the company’s robots to operate on their own, but so far Washington D.C. is the only city that has allowed the service to take place without a permit fee.
While Washington D.C. is the most willing to allow autonomous robots to roam the streets, there are still a number of rules that the company must abide by, including that robots must not exceed 10 miles per hour. However, Recode reported that Starship’s robots, which are approximately the size of a suitcase, can only reach four miles per hour. The robots can carry up to 40 pounds, and they can only travel two miles from their point of origin.
The company plans to have humans monitoring the robot’s progress and will be on hand to take over in the case of any problems.