(USA)

Delivery robots are set to become an increasingly common sight on the sidewalks of American cities.

The autonomous robots – or Personal Delivery Devices (PDD) – from Starship Technologies are being embraced by US states.

Legislation was passed this month – which becomes effective 1 July 2017 – which will permit the use of Starship’s robots in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It marks the first official state-wide approval of the use of PDDs on sidewalks, shared-use paths, and crosswalks in the United States.

Run on clean energy, Starship’s robots are designed to deliver goods locally in 15-30 minutes within a two mile radius. The robots drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control at any time.

“I am proud that Virginia is the first state in the nation to approve the state-wide use of these autonomous delivery robots,” says Senator Bill DeSteph.

And Ahti Heinla, Chief Executive Officer, Starship Technologies hailed the Commonwealth for sending “an unmistakeable message that it embraces innovation and technology”.

Meanwhile, it was also announced this week that the delivery robots would be hitting the street of Washington, DC, after a partnership deal was struck between Starship Technologies and Postmates whose mission is to transform “the way goods move around cities by enabling anyone to have anything delivered on-demand”.