Starship Technologies, a delivery robot startup founded in 2015 by two Skype co-founders, is launching its autonomous delivery service at corporate and academic campuses in Europe and the US. For the last three months, Starship's six-wheeled robots have been delivering food and office supplies around software company Intuit's 4.3-acre campus in Mountain View, California. Ahti Heinla, Starship CEO, CTO and co-founder, tells The Robot Report that Starship expects to scale this service to "hundreds of campuses" and about 1,000 robots by the end of 2018. There are 10 delivery robots that Compass pays for by the month. Heinla said Intuit's employees don't pay extra when they order food or supplies via the Starship app.
Amazon is launching a new self-driving delivery device called Scout, and it's adorable. Scout is the size of a "small cooler" and can roll along sidewalks, delivering packages safely to a customer's doorstep. The device is currently operating in Snohomish County, Washington, the company announced Wednesday. "The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but will initially be accompanied by an Amazon employee," Amazon said in a statement. "We developed Amazon Scout at our research and development lab in Seattle, ensuring the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path."
While there has been plenty of talk about how artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the workplace, so far the effects have been subtle and slow to reveal themselves, although the scale of the oncoming change is starting to become apparent. Machine learning, task automation and robotics are already widely used in business. These and other AI technologies are about to multiply, and we look at how organizations can best take advantage of them. The ability of computers to learn, rather than be programmed, how to carry out specific tasks puts a wide range of complex roles within reach of automation for the first time. While this fresh wave of automation is not yet widespread, today there are glimpses of how profoundly these new capabilities will change the nature of work: Amazon Go's cashierless supermarket where shoppers just grab what they want and leave, the thousands of Amazon Kiva robots that ferry goods to and fro in the retail giant's warehouses, and the pairing of AI and IoT sensors to carry out predictive maintenance on ThyssenKrupp elevators across the world.
Amazon and Google might be focused on delivering packages in the sky, but one UK firm has set its sights on the ground. Starship Technologies has developed a fleet of six-wheeled'ground drones' that travel at four miles per hour and are capable of carrying 20 to 25 pounds of cargo. Deemed the first autonomous delivery robot, the technology is currently being tested in London and is now set to invade Austin, Texas in the United States. Starship Technologies has developed six-wheeled bots that travel at four miles per hour and capable of carrying 20 to 25 pounds of cargo. Unlike robots designed to resemble humans, the Starship's bot is purely functional with a large compartment to hold deliveries, the equivalent size of two grocery bags.