The founders claim Starship robots are far safer than delivery drones because the robot only weighs 20 pounds and moves slowly. Heinla also said the operators could always take over control of the robot if need be.
Unlike Amazon, Google, etc., which are working with the FAA on flying regulations, Starship is entering new territory with ground robots. Some countries and states do not yet have rules in place about use of autonomous robots. But the founders are confident they can persuade regulators to be open to the idea of sharing sidewalks with their "friendly" robots.
"It's almost impossible to get hurt by it," said Martinson. "But, of course, it's designed not to crash into anything."
Starship has two pilot programs planned for the U.K. and the U.S. next year. The founders envision the robots delivering parcels, laundry, pizza and many other things.
Investors fund the year-old company, but the CEO declined to comment on specifics.