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Autonomous robot will revolutionise online shopping deliveries

04 November 2015 - 12:22 by Mike Price

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It is already known that Amazon has ambitions to make widespread use of drones to deliver items ordered via safe shopping online direct to customers. But drones are costly to build, expensive to run and are likely to be an expensive alternative to traditional delivery options.

The alternative is a new robot called Starship, which is capable of fully autonomous operation and, unlike drones, will drive along the ground to bring items direct to the doors of consumers.

Created by a company led by one of Skype’s founders, Starship is relatively compact and has a range of less than five miles, meaning it is designed to bring items from local stores and delivery hubs to customers, according to BBC News.

Rather than operating at high speed like a drone, this robot will trundle from A to B and back again, sending out an alert to customers via SMS when it is outside their house.

The company behind Starship is currently working on its prototype device and is gearing up to carry out real world trials here in the UK at some point in 2016. It will, no doubt, take advantage of the fact that millions of people love safe shopping online here.

Ultimately, this robot will allow for fairly fast, autonomous delivery of items without the need for drones or human drivers. And its creators are hoping that it may even be able to make home delivery free of charge for customers who make online purchases.

At the moment, free delivery is only offered on orders that surpass a particular minimum value, with express delivery costing quite a bit of cash in most instances. But this autonomous robot may hold the answer to the increasing demand for online shopping with same day delivery.