Robot grocery deliveries launch in Higham Ferrers, Rushden and Wellingborough today

They deliver items to your door from four Co-op stores

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 10:13 am

Robots will be delivering groceries across Higham Ferrers, Rushden and Wellingborough from today (July 14) after the launch of a new service.

Starship Technologies has partnered with North Northamptonshire Council and the Co-op to bring autonomous deliveries to residents across the three towns, after a similar scheme launched in Northampton in 2020.

The partnership will see up to 45,000 residents across 33,000 households able to access on-demand deliveries from four Co-op stores in Wellingborough’s Olympic Way, Farm Road off Northen Way, Grangeway in Rushden and High Street in Higham Ferrers.

The robot delivery service is launching today

North Northants residents will be able to choose their groceries, schedule their delivery and then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can watch in real-time via an interactive map as the robot makes its journey to them. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert and can meet and unlock it through the app.

The robots are lightweight and travel at the speed of a pedestrian (no faster than 4mph). They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch. The automatic systems being can be overridden by humans, who can take control at any time.

Orders are made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android.

Cllr Graham Lawman, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for highways, travel and assets, said: “I am delighted that Starship’s rather cute delivery robots will be coming to north Northamptonshire. This partnership between us, Starship and Co-op is extremely exciting and I know it will make a real difference to people’s lives - providing quick and easy deliveries to residents of Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers and Rushden. The council is committed to the environment and this new service is another innovation that we are supporting to help to provide a clean and green alternative to the private car for day-to-day convenience shopping, helping to reduce emissions. They will be really useful for those without a car or unable to get out for those urgent items.”

Andrew Curtis, UK operations manager at Starship Technologies, said: “We have had very positive feedback from local communities in Northampton since starting operations there in November 2020, and today is an exciting day for Starship as we offer the benefits of autonomous grocery delivery to 33,000 more households across Northamptonshire. Our robots offer an environmentally friendly and convenient way of helping people with their ‘top up’ shopping and we’re confident the service will be similarly well received in north Northants.”

Chris Conway, eCommerce director at the Co-op, said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to its products and services. Our members and customers lead busy lives and ease, speed and convenience is at the heart of our approach. We are delighted to be able to extend the service in the area.”