The co-founders of Skype, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, are building an autonomous, self-driving robot that will deliver up to 20 pounds of groceries for $1.50 in under half an hour, starting in 2016.
The project is called Starship and is “leading the revolution in local delivery,” an industry that, according to The Telegraph, has U.K. sales of over $230 billion per year.
Starship could be up to 15 percent cheaper than current delivery services, according to the founders, who did not specify how much it would cost them to make each Starship.
Starship will travel on pavements at around 4 miles per hour, and will “only take the last few miles” after a more traditional delivery service—such as a van—does the rest. Due to its size, Starship can get into hard-to-reach places where a van could not.
The robot can be tracked via a smartphone, making it easy to see where your bananas, apples or oranges are. If Starship runs into trouble it can be commanded by a human — like a drone — but the majority of its movement is self-directed based on mapping data and sensors.
The first trials of Starship will take place in 2016 Greenwich, London.
Here is a video of Starship in action: