Tesco customers in Milton Keynes can now have their groceries delivered by robot. The service from robotics company Starship Technologies, is now available via a Tesco Extra in the Kingston Centre.
How does the service work?
Tesco customers can use Starship’s smartphone app to order groceries, which can then be delivered in as little as 15 minutes within a two-mile radius of the store. More than 1,000 Tesco products are listed, and customers pay the standard shelf prices plus £1 for delivery. This follows Tesco’s previous trial in London with Starship, in which it tested robot delivery, as part of a wider ‘Tesco Now’ one-hour delivery trial.
The order is picked in-store by an employee from Starship who puts the items into the robot, which then sets off on its unaccompanied journey to the customer. The customer can see where the robot is using the app. Upon reaching its destination, the customer uses the app to confirm arrival and unlock the lid to the compartment containing the shopping.
A new ordering feature called ‘Snap’ has been added to the app by Starship, enabling customers to add their favourites to a basket in one tap.
A spokesman from Starship Technologies said: "Adding Tesco products to our autonomous delivery service is a fantastic addition for residents in the local communities we serve. This is the first time customers can order from Tesco and receive robot delivery within minutes for just £1 anywhere in the UK, and they can access it at the touch of a button on the Starship Deliveries app. The bots complete thousands of autonomous deliveries a week and have received a great welcome from Milton Keynes".
Starship Technologies currently also delivers for a Co-op branch in Milton Keynes, which was met with a positive reaction from local customers. At IGD’s Digital Commerce 2018 event, Co-op demonstrated the Starship robot technology it is using to make home deliveries.
Starship, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, plans to introduce robot deliveries in additional towns across Europe and the US. The company previously launched a delivery service for orders from any online retailer, in which customers can have their order sent to a Starship address, and then delivered to their home, place of work or any other location nearby by a Starship robot at a convenient time for them.
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