We've talked about Starship Technologies' adorabrilliant delivery robots before, and now they're trundling their way to Southwark in a trial for courier Hermes.
This isn't the first job for the little robot couriers: they've been delivering parcels in three suburbs of Hamberg since last year. The new trial is a follow-up, to find out whether they can be used for quick-turnaround parcel collections.
"The self-driving delivery robots offer a viable alternative to drones, especially in highly developed cities, towns and suburbs where strict aviation laws are in constant operation. Each vehicle is 55cm high by 70cm long and incorporates a secured compartment where parcels with a maximum weight of 10KG can be transported, accessible to consumers via a link generated by a smartphone app. They have six wheels and can travel at speeds up to 4mph per hour."
They have to be within 2 miles of a control centre, although since one operator can control multiple robots, it should cut down on the number of delivery staff needed.
It'll hopefully also mean faster, better deliveries. If you've ever had a parcel delivered by Hermes, you'll know how much this is needed. They're used by many of the big internet shopping companies to deliver orders, but reviews show they're deeply unpopular with customers, and were named one of the two worst couriers in the UK alongside Yodel in '14.
Their employees don't seem so happy, either, with reviews on Glassdoor having titles including "Poor ethics" and "Bully mentality." Hopefully they'll be nicer to the robots.