Pix of the day. Monday, December 5th

Here’s a new ‘kid’ that might – one day soon – end up on your block!

It’s a food delivery robot, being trialled on the streets of Cambridge, in a joint venture between Starship Technologies and the Co-op, and enabled by the council.

The photograph was sent in by Bath resident Ellie Farrar who writes:

“Here’s a green idea to consider for an innovative and sustainable method of shopping.

I was sent this by a family member in Cambridge.

We think it’s worth considering for elderly and housebound people who order small amounts of shopping. It could be developed to save great van deliveries clogging our roads.”

I had a look at the Cambridgeshire County Council website – from which the following information has been extracted.

“Cambridge residents can order their delivery to arrive in under an hour and watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, residents receive an alert and can meet and unlock it through the app.

© Starship Technologies

Since May 2022, Starship’s robots have carried out many thousands of deliveries in Cambourne alone, with more and more people are using the service to save time and fit shopping around their busy lives.

Introducing the robots to Cambourne has resulted in an estimated 7,798 miles of car journeys saved in the first month and a 1,670kg reduction in CO2 emissions. Reception has been positive, with 98% of people saying they would recommend the delivery robots to their friends.

This means that 8,000 residents in 3,000 homes will benefit from quick deliveries of products from their local Co-op, with customers receiving groceries from a fleet of Starship’s autonomous robots which will bring the items to their doorsteps.

The project is part of the council’s wide-ranging environmental agenda as it will help to reduce short car journeys and improve air quality, with an average delivery for a Starship robot consuming as little energy as boiling a kettle to make just one cup of tea.”

A great idea? Or another obstacle to negotiate when you are out and about? I mean – we are just getting used to e-scooters? What do you all think? Thanks Ellie!