Delivery robots are designed and programmed to transport the couriers, food, shipments, and other such objects from one destination to another by leveraging onboard GPS & connectivity or some other guiding technology. Deliver robots are integrated with cameras, motors, sensors, and GPS that are used to move and guide these robots. Various companies including Amazon, UPS, and DHL among others have been testing robots to deliver parcels.
Early prototypes of food delivery drones include the Tacocopter demonstration by Star Simpson, which was a taco delivery concept utilizing a smartphone app to order drone-delivered tacos in San Francisco area. The revelation that it didn't exist as a delivery system or app led to it being labelled a hoax. A similar concept named the "burrito bomber" was tested in 2012. That same year, a Free University of Berlin student project examined the use of drones for pizza delivery. In 2013, as part of an advertising campaign, an independent Domino's UK franchise tested the Domicopter. Similar flights were conducted in India and Russia, but lacked regulatory approval.
Starship Technologies, a company based in San Francisco and Estonia, takes a more optimistic view. Hundreds of their robots have already made 25,000 deliveries, navigating local neighborhoods using machine-learning software, onboard sensors and digital maps. The majority of people who share the sidewalk with Starship’s robots hardly notice them, and most attention seems positive, says Ryan Tuohy, Starship’s senior vice president of business development. “After our robots have been in an area for a while, people get used to them. They become part of the community and residents look out for their well-being,” Tuohy says. Starship’s robots operate almost entirely autonomously in mapped areas, but remote human operators monitor them in case they need to intervene. Still, even Starship previously admitted people have occasionally given its $5,500 robots a kick in passing.