Just Eat delivers its first takeaway via robot courier

Before the robots rise up and put us under their command, they'll be busy delivering hot takeaway food to our doorsteps: online ordering service Just Eat has announced its first live robot delivery has taken place in London.

The robot courier in question is a trundling buggy manufactured by Starship Technologies, which is run by a couple of ex-Skype founders. The tech has actually been in testing since the summer in a small patch of Greenwich, but now it's been used for a real order.

Just Eat app user Simone was the customer to benefit, having ordered food from local Turkish restaurant Taksim Meze. It's the restaurant, not the hungry customer, that requests robot assistance, with the food placed in a secure cargo hold and sent on its way to the designated address.

Tip not included

The Starship bot is designed to travel over short distances and has nine cameras on board to make sure it doesn't bump into anything en route. Operators can keep an eye on the robot via a connected app.

Just Eat says 10 restaurants are involved in the pilot scheme in Greenwich so if you're in the area you might get a droid rolling up to your house in the near future. Just Eat says it wants "a fleet of robots across multiple neighbourhoods" in the coming years.

The ordering service isn't the only company exploring the benefits of automated robot delivery though - Domino's Pizza has been testing out similar technology in Australia, while Amazon continues to develop a drone delivery army of its own.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.