Starship Technologies’ ground-based, semi-autonomous robots will begin delivering food and other items within a four-mile-wide test area as part of commercial trials beginning over the next couple of weeks. The DoorDash deliveries will be trialled in Redwood City, Calif., and the Postmates pilot will take place in Washington, D.C..
“As part of the test, we’ll look to see if robots can provide the speed and service customers come to expect from DoorDash, while also exploring how customers interact with the robots and learning how the robot works with the restaurant’s operations,” a statement from the restaurant delivery service DoorDash read.
The robots, which are on six wheels, are capable of carrying up to 20 pounds of cargo and can reach a top speed of four miles per hour, The Verge reports. According to Quartz, when a robot is assigned to an order, it will head to the restaurant via the sidewalk. When it arrives, the restaurant will receive a text then a staff member can place the delivery inside a small carrying compartment in the robot. The robot will then head to its drop-off destination, texting the customer when it is outside.
Starship Technologies, which is based in London and Estonia, has already conducted similar robotic delivery trials in the U.K. and Germany.