Forget boring old flying drones, there’s a new robot postman in town, created by two former co-founders of the wildly successful Skype via their new startup Starship Technologies.
The yet to be named drone will autonomously deliver groceries, small packages and drugstore goods to suburban homes. It looks a lot like an esky with wheels, but way cuter and with more blinking LED lights.
It has a top speed of four miles per hour (6.4km/h) and a maximum range of two miles (3.2km). For safety reasons, the drones journey is monitored by an actual person, we wouldn’t want any bruised shins, would we?
Customers would place an online order, after which the drone is automatically loaded inside a portable converted shipping container warehouse. It’s then dispatched with the aim of having the package delivered within thirty minutes, allowing customers to track its progress with an app.
To stop someone rolling the mobile esky for your stuff, it can only be opened with the app, but I guess that won’t really stop them from just picking it up and running off with it.
To help it navigate our big scary world, it’s equipped with a camera and radar, because GPS isn’t enough to stop it from wandering in front of a car. It’s even got speakers and a microphone to interact with us humans. Mad!
And there are other advantages to this system. For one, it can make a delivery for less than one US dollar, but would also allow for easy returns. Imagine buying a shirt, trying it on, it doesn’t fit, just chuck it back in, pal! He’s gotta go back to base anyway.
The system is expected to fully launch in Greenwich, London and the US in 2017.