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Six-wheeled delivery robots which trundle along at 4mph will soon be used to deliver meals to homes around London.
The self-driving robots can navigate through city streets using a GPS tracker coupled with on-board cameras and sensors.
When the robot arrives at its destination, the customer has to type in a code that has been sent to them.
This lets them open the robot’s lid to collect their food.
So far, 30 robots have travelled 5,000 miles during tests in Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Glastonbury.
Now food delivery firm Just Eat plans to start using them to deliver food to homes in London later this month.
Allan Martinson, the chief operating officer of developer Starship Technologies, said: “We haven’t lost a single robot in eight months, or been involved in any accidents that resulted in loss or injury.”
He said most people who’ve spotted them in the street are unfazed, but kids “love it”.
“We’ve seen them try to chase it, hug it. One person tried to feed it a banana.”
To prevent theft and other interference, it is fitted with a movement sensor that sends an alert if it is lifted off the ground.
It also has nine cameras and two-way audio to a control room, from which humans oversee the robot army.
It is cheaper than regular delivery – costing around £1 to transport goods within a 3 mile radius.
Just Eat chief executive David Buttress said: “In busy times there’s a shortage of supply drivers. These will enable restaurants to meet the demand.”
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