Robots to deliver shopping nationwide as Co-op expands food home delivery scheme

Robots could soon be delivering your weekly food shop after the Co-op confirmed it is expanding a new delivery service.

The supermarket chain says it will have 500 autonomous vehicles on the streets by the end of the year as part of the scheme.

The Co-op has been working with Starship Technologies to develop the robots, which essentially are cooler boxes on six wheels that travel at walking speed along pavements.

The devices use GPS to guide them on pre-set routes and have been tested in towns with wide pavements and low traffic levels.

Co-op and Starship first launched the emission-free delivery service in Milton Keynes in 2018, and later in Northampton in 2020, with 200 robots already in operation.

© Steve Bainbridge The robots deliver food straight to your door

The autonomous devices are now expected to be making deliveries in five new towns and cities, with Cambridgeshire the next location.

Through the speedy service, shoppers can choose from over 3,000 grocery items, which are delivered in as little as 20 minutes.

Orders need to be placed through the Starship Food Delivery app.

Would you get your food delivered by robot? Let us know in the comments.

© PA The Co-op is expanding the service to more parts of the UK

Chris Conway, head of eCommerce at the Co-op, said: “Our focus is to continue to innovate and look for new and better ways to do business in our communities while expanding access to our products and services.

“In addition to offering quality and value quickly, easily and conveniently, we need to do this sustainably.

“By working collaboratively with Starship and other partners with shared values we can ensure we further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Starship Technologies, added: “We are pleased to extend our hugely successful collaboration with Co-op and bring the benefits of autonomous delivery to thousands more people across the UK.

“More and more people are realising that it doesn’t make sense to drive to the store for ‘top up’ groceries when the hassle can be removed through autonomous, contactless and environmentally friendly delivery.

“Ultimately, we want to save time and money for our customers, and make their lives easier in a sustainable way.”

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