New East Digital Archive

Estonian robots have landed in the UK (and they’re coming to your house)

Estonian robots have landed in the UK (and they're coming to your house)
Image: Starship Technologies

19 November 2018

An Estonian tech firm is rolling out a fleet of driverless delivery robots to ferry groceries to shoppers in the English city of Milton Keynes.

For £7.99 a month, customers of Starship Technologies receive unlimited drone deliveries from a city supermarket. The drones deliver to the address specified by the user’s mobile app, which also allows users to unlock the drone and retrieve their package.

Each robot of the fleet deployed to Milton Keynes is equipped with ultrasound sensors, radar, GPS and 10 cameras. An onboard computer allows them to recognise objects such as cars and traffic lights, meaning they navigate like a normal pedestrian. However, human drivers are on hand to help remotely should the robots run into trouble.

The Tallinn and San Francisco based Starship Technologies was launched by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis in 2014. The company has plans to deploy drones in the San Francisco area before the end of 2018.