A grocery delivery service that launched in Northampton last November - whereby robots arrive at doorsteps with milk, eggs and other essentials - is now expanding to cover Barry Road and Upton and over 20,000 further homes and businesses.
Starship Technologies, the world's leading provider of autonomous delivery services, has today announced that it will be extending its services, in partnership with the Co-op, to cover Barry Road from 18 February, and Upton in the coming weeks.
Customers who live within a three mile radius of the local convenience stores in the relevant areas of Northampton will be able to order groceries to be delivered by a robot within an hour.. The robots use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles.
Computer vision-based navigation helps the robots to map their environment to the nearest inch as customers can watch in real-time on an app while the robot makes its journey to them. Once the robot arrives, customers receive an alert and can then meet and unlock the robot through the app.
Councillor Jason Smithers, cabinet member for Highways and Place at Northamptonshire County Council, said:
Starship's robots have been incredibly successful and well-received in the Wootton area, and so we're pleased to confirm they will be expanding into other areas of Northampton.
During the current lockdown especially, the robots are providing an essential service for those who might not be able to get to the local shop for their basic provisions.
"We're happy that more residents in Northampton can now have access to this world leading on-demand delivery service and we're excited about further expansion. I am also delighted that, alongside working with a long established brand like the Coop, Starship are keen to enable local nearby independent shops and restaurants to use the service."
Andrew Curtis, Head of UK Operations at Starship Technologies, added:
We are thrilled to expand our service in Northamptonshire and bring robot delivery to residents in and around Barry Road and Upton.
Once launched, Barry Road will become the world's largest and most sophisticated autonomous delivery operation.
We have been delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response we've seen from local residents in Wootton where we're already operating, and we look forward to working with the County Council to roll out the service to more neighbourhoods around Northamptonshire."
Chris Conway, Head of eCommerce, Co-op, said:
We continue to look for new ways to innovate and expand access to our products and services in order to deliver a truly compelling offer locally.
The robots have proved to be popular in Northampton, and by offering the home delivery service from our Barry Road store we can further increase availability and choice to meet community shopping needs - delivering quality and value quickly, easily, safely and conveniently is core to Co-op's approach."
Northampton is the second UK town where the delivery service has launched following the introduction of the robots in Milton Keynes in April 2018, where delivery numbers have soared during the pandemic.
In January 2021, Starship reached the significant milestone of completing one million autonomous deliveries, the first autonomous delivery company in the world to do so.
Milk, eggs, bread, bananas and cucumber have been the most popular items delivered by the bots in Northampton. To order a robot delivery from the Co-ops in the relevant area, download the 'Starship - Food Delivery' app on Android and iOS.