Sometimes I never quite know if I should respond to something new with “wow that’s amazing” or “that’s scary”. The Just Eat Robotic Delivery service is just one of those things, on one hand I am astounded in a great way, on the other hand I’m a little unsure if it’s such a great idea.
Take Away ordering service Just Eat announced recently they are due to trial a robotic delivery service in London. These small autonomous robots (that somehow remind me of the Sinclair C5) are designed to weave their way through the streets of London to deliver takeaway food to the masses.
Tech giant Starship Technologies established in 2014 by the co-founders of Skype, have developed the robots to deliver food, packages and goods to consumers within a short radius of their point of origin. When the delivery robot arrives outside your house, it let’s you know, you enter a security access code on the robot and hey presto the lid pops open and you take out your delivery.
The company behind the robots boast they’ve already travelled through 35 cities, been seen by 440,000 passers by and travelled over 5,000 miles on city streets.
Just Eat are one of 4 companies due to trail the robots, the Just Eat trial starts in 2016 around London.
The robots are fitted with a massive array of sensors, cameras and security systems to help them ‘stay safe’ whilst on their delivery missions. I do wonder though how long it will be before these clever little robots become the default delivery system and how many delivery drivers will be put out of a job because of them.
Equally I wonder how they’ll fair when someone decides they’d like to … ‘borrow one’! Surely it won’t be long before we see a rise in robot thefts and a second hand market of hacked and untethered robots available on the black market. If nothing else they’d make a funky footstool. Were new tech is concerned someone will find a way to convert these into some other use. Given that Starship Technologies already claim the robot delivery system cuts delivery costs from £5 to £1 aren’t they already making enemies of the ‘Tech Luddite Delivery Drivers’ of the world especially those that are wedded to their trusty mopeds, vans and trucks? Doubt very much these delivery bots will fair very well when attacked by a base ball bat, sledge hammer or worse someone pours petrol on it, lights it and watches the flaming robot trundle off down the street. Brings a whole new meaning to flame grilled! Someone will try it, without doubt.
All that said I think the robots are cool, if only because they’re great bits of innovation. Rest assured, robots are on our high streets and I think they are more likely here to stay! Personally I think I’ll stick to walking to the chippy for my usual pudding, chips, peas and gravy! 🙂