Starship Technologies has begun testing their on-demand delivery robots in cities around the world — including Washington, D.C. — to manage the “last mile” for small deliveries. Slashdot reader Okian Warrior quotes the Starship Technologies site: Capable of carrying the equivalent of two grocery bags, the robots can complete local deliveries within 5-30 minutes from a local hub or retail outlet, for 10-15 times less than the cost of current last-mile delivery alternatives. Customers can choose from a selection of short, precise delivery slots — meaning goods arrive at a time that suits them. During delivery, shoppers can track the robot’s location in real time through a mobile app, and on arrival only the app holder is able to unlock the cargo. Created by two Skype co-founders, the company uses ground-based delivery drones equipped with nine cameras, two-way audio capability, and GPS, according to ABC News, which has video of the robots in action. “When confronted with any kind of issue or trouble, a human at Starship can take over. The remote operator can have a two-way conversation with those around the robot… They hope to make the robots available for 24/7 delivery and for only a $1 fee.” What could go wrong?
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