One of Milton Keynes' famous Starship robots is found face down in river

The company behind the city's delivery robots have urged people not to panic if they see a robot in distress in MK.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 11:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 11:52 am

Their comments come after photos of one of the friendly robots face down in a river are circulating on social media.

The picture was snapped last week and the location is unknown.

But it seems the robot was rescued and is now fully recovered.

The poor robot was face down in the water

A Starship spokesman told the Citizen: "If people see a robot not moving, they shouldn’t do anything because we’re aware of where every single robot is to the nearest inch and it may just be having a rest."

He added: "However, if on the rare occasion someone sees a robot swimming or in any other odd situation then feel free to email [email protected] with the details."

Starship robots have delivered food and takeaway meals to thousands of customers in MK during lockdown. They delivered free to NHS workers and even joined in the Thursday night tributes to the NHS, blinking their headlights instead of clapping.

The 4mph machines can carry items within a four mile radius. Customers book a delivery through a mobile app and, once ordered, the robots' entire journey and location can be monitored on a smartphone.

The robots deliver to thousands of people in MK

If anybody unauthorised tries to pick them up, the robots will "screech" a loud alarm.

Starship spokesman Henry Harris-Burland told The Engineer magazine: “We have had incidents. But we feel comfortable with where we’re at right now, because no one has managed to steal one or anything like that. There’s alarms if you pick it up. As soon as you pick it up it’s like a screeching car alarm going off.”

The robots move at pedestrian speed, can steer around objects and people and can cross roads safely. They use machine vision, sensor fusions and GPS to navigate, enabling them to build up a detailed picture of their environment over time.