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Starship Technologies announced that it’s expanding its delivery service to residents across Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden in North Northamptonshire in the UK. Starship partnered with the North Northamptonshire Council and the Co-op for this expansion. The company has been working in Northampton since November 2020.
The service starts today, July 14 2022, and will provide autonomous deliveries for up to 45,000 residents across 33,000 households. Starship’s robots will deliver from four Co-op stores in Olympic Way, Farm Road off Northern Way, Grangeway and Higham Ferrers.
“I am delighted that Starship’s rather cute delivery robots will becoming to North Northamptonshire,” Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for highway, travel and assets, said. “This partnership between us, Starship and Co-op is extremely exciting and I know it will make a real difference to people’s lives – providing quick and easy deliveries to residents of Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden. The council is committed to the environment and this new service is another innovation that we are supporting to help to provide a clean and green alternative to the private car for day-to-day convenience shopping, helping to reduce emissions. They will be really useful for those without a car or unable to get out for those urgent items.”
Starship recently laid off 11% of its global workforce. The company said it had been negatively impacted by the “dramatic downward shifts” in the global economy and investment market. Starship is also closing a small number of unnamed service locations in the US and Germany over the next two months. According to the company, the closing locations don’t have the right mix of merchants and customer base to meet its profitability goals.
Other robotics companies, like Pudu Robotics, Fabric, Argo AI and Nuro also announced layoffs recently. Additionally, DoorDash announced it was closing Chowbotics just 18 months after acquiring the business.
Starship’s sidewalk deliver robots travel up to 4 mph and weighs around 80 lbs. They can carry around 20 lbs at a time. The robots uses a mixture of computer vision and GPS to know its location. Each one is equipped with twelve cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to help it detect obstacles in its path.
Residents in North Northamptonshire are able to order a range of grocery items to be delivered with the robots, schedule the delivery time and then drop a pin where they want to pick up their items.
“We have had very positive feedback from local communities in Northampton since starting operations there in November 2020, and today is an exciting day for Starship as we offer the benefits of autonomous grocery delivery to 33,000 more households across Northamptonshire,” Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship, said. “Our robots offer an environmentally friendly and convenient way of helping people with their ‘top up’ shopping and we’re confident the service will be similarly well received in North Northants.”