Follow for more talkers

Tech

Stunned onlookers watch as fleet of robots line up at crosswalk

"I even heard one of them ask a lady passing to press the button for them."

Avatar photo

Published

on
Pictured Queue of robots spotted by Naomi Davies. (@naomidaviesart via SWNS)

By Debbie Luxon via SWNS

A fleet of little robots has been spotted queuing up at a pedestrian crossing and requesting a passer-by to press the button for them.

The Starship robots have landed in cities in the UK to make grocery deliveries for residents.

Locals have become quite taken with the small box on wheels, likening it to the robots in the cartoon Wallace and Gromit.

The robots dubbed "grocery badgers" have been spotted across Cambridge, Cambs, and charmed passers-by with their polite, very British mannerisms.

Naomi Davies spotted seven of them queuing at a pedestrian crossing one day last week during her cycle home.

She said: "I was cycling back and there was this ridiculous queue. It looked so sweet and British.

"They were being so cautious crossing the road. I hung around to see if they would, but it took three light changes for one of them to cross so I got cold and went home.

"I even heard one of them ask a lady passing to press the button for them."

Residents have become incredibly taken with the new addition to their city, documenting the charming things they do on social media.

Naomi's post about the queuing robots has gained over 500 likes on a local Facebook group.

Naomi, a pen and watercolor artist from Cambridge, has since taken the robots as her latest muse.

She said: "I like painting quirky things and after seeing all the attention my post got, it was a no-brainer."

She will now be selling mini original paintings of the robots at local markets and on her online shop.

Meanwhile, other residents have been taking notice of the funny things the robots can do across the city.

Huilin Shanghai from Cambridge filmed a robot struggling to get up a curb.

She wrote in a post: "Despite all the technology, there is nothing like a little encouragement. Watch with sound."

The robot is seen taking an extra large 'step' backwards after Huilin gives the robot some encouragement to mount the curb.

Another film shows children dancing as the robot 'sings' for them.

A Starship spokesperson said: "The robots make more than 140,000 road crossings every day around the world, nearly one every three seconds.

Delivery robots are now in Cambridge at two CO-OP locations in the city. (James Linsell-Clark via SWNS)
« of 4 »

"They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to safely navigate.

"Most of these crossings are done autonomously, but on the rare occasion assistance is required, the robots can be monitored remotely.

"It’s also true that every now and then the robots are not shy in asking a friendly resident for help if they can’t quite reach the button, particularly in a new area they’ve recently started mapping.

"Although in some locations around the world now the robots can automatically 'talk' to the traffic light, eliminating the need to press the button!

"But they’re also very happy to wait in a queue - they are in England after all!"

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers