The robots are coming… to Timperley.
Trafford Council has approved a pilot scheme that will see robots used to deliver goods bought at the Co-op supermarket on Washway Road.
The robots – or Personal Delivery Devices (PDDs) – are the brainchild of a company called Starship Technologies.
They’ve already introduced the robots to Milton Keynes and Northampton and approached the council about introducing a similar scheme in Timperley and Sale.
The devices can carry food, groceries, parcels and industrial supplies to thousands of homes.
Residents book the delivery on an app and can unlock the zero-emission robots on arrival.
The robots use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles.
Computer vision-based navigation helps them to map their environment very accurately and a central control centre can intervene if the robot encounters a significant issue.
The council will regulate the operation of the PDDs during the trial to ensure the safety of residents.
Feedback from the trial will be used to decide if the scheme is made permanent.
A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “We believe that the scheme could help assist vulnerable residents in Sale and Timperley who have limited access to local shops and will offer an alternative way of receiving goods and services. Residents could also use the delivery service instead of travelling in their cars to local shops.
“We will, of course, monitor the trial very carefully before making a decision on deciding whether the scheme would be introduced on a permanent basis.”