Image Credit: Jeniece Pettitt
Heinla said they are talking to "all of the companies you would think of" in the logistics industry and that "there is certainly a lot of interest," but he declined to name specifics.
Starship hopes to sell its robots to major logistics companies. The cost of the robot is currently less than $2,000. Heinla said Starship robots would cost less than a dollar for each delivery and in the future when scaled, this last mile could be essentially free.
"If this new technology is really feasible, FedEx and UPS will both be at the forefront of using it and developing it," said Donald Broughton, senior transportation analyst at Avondale Partners. But he said these robots would face the same regulatory and safety hurdles as delivery drones.
"God forbid a drone or a robot hits a toddler, or kills a cat or a dog," Broughton said. "The liability is just too high."
The founders claim Starship robots are far safer than delivery drones because the robot only weighs 20 pounds and moves slowly. Heinla also said the operators could always take over control of the robot if need be.