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These six-wheeled robots are about to start delivering food in the US
A small number of Americans will soon be able to have food and other goods delivered to them by an adorable semi-autonomous robot. Starship Technologies announced the first two commercial partnerships for its ground-based delivery robots in the US today — one with DoorDash in Redwood City, California, and one with Postmates in Washington, DC. The commercial trials will see these services start making deliveries in the coming weeks using Starship's six-wheeled robots within a four-mile-wide test area in each city.
The DoorDash trial will take place in Redwood City's downtown business district, and Starship will run its Postmates pilot in the northwestern part of Washington, DC's city limits. (Starship Technologies marketing lead Henry Harris-Burland said the company can't yet share the exact location.) DoorDash and Postmates customers will see the robots pop up as a delivery option in the respective apps, and it won't cost any more than a typical delivery.
Starship Technologies' robots have already driven thousands of miles in cities around the world, and the company even helped get legislation put in place to make the testing possible in Washington, DC. While these will be the company's first two commercial trials in the US, Starship has already performed deliveries in the UK and Germany thanks to partnerships with services like Just Eat, Pronto, and Hermes. Other companies, like Amazon and Alphabet, have made a few airborne drone deliveries in the US thanks to early partnerships with businesses like 7-Eleven and Chipotle