The Co-op is trialling the use of autonomous robots to deliver groceries to customers in Milton Keynes.
The self-driving machines, developed by tech start-up Starship Technologies, have a top speed of 10mph. In busy areas they are accompanied by a human minder, according to BBC News.
Shoppers pay a £1 delivery charge and can choose from 200 of the most common grocery items using a smartphone app. When the delivery is on its way, customers can track its progress using the app and they are sent a unique code to unlock the robot and retrieve their shopping.
The robots can travel up to three miles and are fitted with sensors, cameras, radar and GPS.
Supermarket group Tesco and food delivery service Just Eat have also trialled the robots, the Daily Mirror reports.
According to Starship, its robots have already covered more than 100,000 miles around the world in 20 countries and over 100 cities, encountering more than 15 million people along the way.
Building on the success of food, grocery and parcel delivery trials in the UK, US, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia, Starship recently announced a major commercial rollout of autonomous delivery services for corporate and academic campuses in the US and Europe.
“The robots offer on-demand delivery anywhere on participating campuses via an app, offering employees the flexibility and convenience of having food delivery when and where they want, eliminating unwanted errands and waiting in line, or transporting items to and from other locations on campus,” the company explained.
Autonomous vehicles such as robots and drones are considered by many to be the future of ‘last-mile’ logistics.
As such, there is intense competition and companies like Starship are keen to make their mark.