Washington DC getting autonomous delivery robots image

As the Washington Auto Show is kicking off, we’ve been surprised to find that cities like Washington DC will be “invaded” by the cute Starship MSE droid cargo bots.

And interestingly enough – while the things seem to have been inspired by the Lunar and Mars Rovers, people are actually ignoring them – it seems many of them get swapped away by their phones and don’t even remark an autonomous robot strolling besides them. Maybe when Starship reaches its target of having thousands catering to dinner and last-minute Internet orders for people they will be so normal that we’ll justly ignore them. Starship, the company behind the MSE Star Wars-like droids, wants to lower congestion and make local, “last mile,” deliveries almost free. Their price estimates are of about a dollar to a couple of miles.

For the bots to function properly the company will come to a designated area and map everything with the proprietary mapping software. The businesses operating them can then load up to three grocery bags and send them on their way. The six-wheeled robots will avoid people and stairs and can’t actually enter buildings, so the client will get a text when the bot arrives to come and fetch the order. By the way, Starship is the project of Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, so we’re pretty sure this could reach the modern world.