Starship robot makes last-mile delivery cheaper and more efficient

Posted: 9. August 2016-Likes: 0-Comments: 0-Categories: Ikke kategoriseret
ENG_Guest blogger - Allan Martinson

Starship robot makes last-mile delivery cheaper and more efficient

Vans, trucks, human labour and undelivered goods turn last-mile delivery into a pricey business. The Starship robot optimizes last-mile by cutting these factors out of the equation.

Consumers today have four demands for delivery, which put pressure on the price and technology of delivery:

  1. Free shipping

    Starship has so far driven 7,000 km and met 650,000 people.

  2. Free returns
  3. Same-day delivery
  4. Real-time tracking

These demands mean that efficiency is necessary in all parts of the delivery. So far, innovative technology and automation have to a great extent only existed at the warehouse, and not in the last part of the delivery, called last-mile. We want to change that with our revolutionary delivery robot Starship, which replaces big heavy polluting vans and people in the last-mile of delivery.

Read more: how modern technology creates debate between carriers and consumers.


The math is simple. A driver must be paid and a van requires fuel and maintenance. This makes scheduled deliveries cost between 1.5 and 3 USD per delivery and on-demand deliveries cost up to between 6 and 12 USD. The Starship robot cuts the price of deliveries down to between 50 cents to 1 USD by taking the driver and the van out of the equation. However, an operator still needs to monitor a Starship delivery robot, and the robot requires power, but these only cost a fraction of the price of a driver and a van.

Additionally, Starship robots don’t pollute, as vans do, and the robots do not take up much space or get stuck in traffic, since they are designed to drive on the sidewalk.

How Starship works
Starship weighs 15 kg and can carry goods up to 13 kg. It runs at a top speed of 6 km per hour and is designed for trips of around 3 km. Starship is almost entirely self-driving. It drives autonomously using computer vision and GPS, but in the short term, needs to be human-assisted when crossing the street or passing areas with road construction. Nine cameras, an advanced obstacle detection system, sensors and GPS is installed at Starship, which prevents it from bumping into someone or something, and makes it possible to monitor and control the robot at any time. One operator is able to operate 100 Starships at the same time when running at 99% autonomous driving.

Starship can be used for both scheduled and on-demand deliveries and deliver goods within 30 minutes. Consumers can also book Starship for pick-up if they want to return online purchases. Starships can stay in hubs or supermarkets when not in use.

Starship has been tested successfully in 12 different countries and met over 650,000 people on its way, all of which have been very positive towards the robot. We expect to see the first Starship on the streets in August/September 2016 in cities in Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and USA.

Watch Allan Martinson present Starship at #NDC16 here:


  • Starship Technologies was established in 2014 by Skype founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis.
  • Starship robots are the brain child of Ahti Heinla who had previously developed robots to travel to Mars.
  • The team behind Starship consists of 55 employees located at the headquarters in London and research & development in Tallinn, Estonia.
  • Starship COO, Allan Martinson, presented Starship at Nordic Delivery Conference 2016 in Copenhagen.
  • Read a summary of the Nordic Delivery Conference 2016 powered by Consignor here.

Text by: Allan Martinson, COO, Starship Technologies