Starship Technologies, the autonomous delivery service company, is offering free last mile deliveries from its fleet of robots to NHS workers in Milton Keynes during the coronavirus lockdown period.
The company’s autonomous robots have been operating in Milton Keynes since April 2018 and it has partnerships with Co-Op and Tesco.
NHS workers can order a food shop through the Starship app on their smartphone and the delivery will be free.
Starship has increased its Milton Keynes fleet to 70 robots in order to meet demand as more customers, including the free deliveries for NHS staff, look to take advantage of a service where social contact is reduced even further than a usual click and collect or online grocery service.
The robots have completed over 100,000 deliveries in Milton Keynes over the last two years.
The automated robots have travelled in over 100 cities around the world, operating commercially in local neighbourhoods and university and corporate campuses across five different time zones.
Starship raised £32 million in funding last year to aid its expansion plans to launch delivery services across 100 university campuses.
The Starship delivery service works through an app on iOS or Android.
To get started, users choose from a range of their favorite food or drink items, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent.
They can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map.
Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can then meet and unlock it through the app. Delivery fees vary by locations but are typically £1.60 or less.
The robots use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on footpaths and navigate around obstacles.
Starship robots can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow.