Forget drones, there’s another futuristic option for reliable delivery service—rolling robots. Starship Technologies, a London-based startup created by the founders of Skype, has introduced an autonomous robot the size of a beer cooler that can deliver up to three grocery bags, sandwiches, or packages within five to 30 minutes. Staying on course using integrated navigation and obstacle avoidance software, the robot also is monitored by a human operator. 

“Last-mile delivery is very inefficient as it currently stands, with a large percentage of the total transportation cost being weighted in the last mile. Congestion in cities along with high levels of pollution are getting worse as e-commerce grows by over 10 percent per year,” says Henry Harris-Burland, Starship Technologies head of marketing and communications. “Our robots are small zero-emissions devices [designed] to increase efficiency and reduce cost for customers and businesses alike.”

The company hopes to offer $1 local delivery in the future, “opening up a wealth of opportunity for local companies,” he adds. Starship Technologies already has partnerships in Washington D.C., Fayetteville, Ark., and Redwood City, Calif.