S-Group expands its robot delivery offering in Finland

Starship delivery robots arrive in Salo, Karkkila and Somero, as well as in Perttilä and Tynninharju in Lohja.

FINLAND – Tuesday 30 April 2024: In December last year, Suur-Seudun Osuuskauppa SSO started robot food delivery in Lohja at Sale Hiidensalmi. Since then, the delivery robots have been a familiar sight on the streets of downtown Lohja, arousing admiration as they pass by. Now the robotic delivery service is expanding, as S-market Karkkila, S-market Somero, S-market Tupuri and Sale Hermanni in the Salo region, and Sale Perttilä and S-market Tynninharju in Lohja will get their own delivery robots today.

Since its early days, Sale Hiidensalmi has been using the robo-delivery service extensively, which encouraged the cooperative to expand the service to new locations. 

 “We are delighted to be able to expand our range of robotic delivery services. After all, it’s an environmentally friendly and innovative new service. Many people already recognise robots from social media, for example, and they are quite sympathetic and fun to see on the streets,” says Heikki Vottonen, Division Director. 

 “It’s always exciting each time we launch service in a new town, introducing even more customers to our little robots and the convenience of on-demand autonomous delivery,” says Sandra Beaumont, Business Development Manager at Starship Technologies.

Customers will be able to choose emission-free, fast and easy-to-use robo-delivery when ordering their purchases from the S-kaupat mobile app. The robots have a range of up to three kilometers from the location, and orders are delivered to the customer within an hour. Store staff pack the customer’s purchases and lift them on board the delivery robot. The customer can follow the robot’s progress in real time via the app. When the robot arrives, the customer receives a notification on their phone. The lid of the delivery robot opens with the app and when the lid opens, a familiar song or melody starts playing to the delight of the customer. 

Designed by Starship Technologies, the robots use artificial intelligence and GPS positioning to plan routes. The robots mostly follow sidewalks and are agile enough to cross streets and climb curbs. The robots travel autonomously, but are always monitored by a human and any disruptions are handled by a human. The robots are equipped with 12 cameras and ultrasonic sensors and radar. During the winter, the robots can also cope well in the snow, although sometimes they may need outside help to continue their journey if the snow is very deep.

Looking forward to meeting new colleagues…

SSO staff are looking forward to welcoming their new colleagues. “It’s great to be able to offer our customers a new kind of service in the form of robotic transport. The robots will certainly attract attention when they move and will bring a smile to many peoples’ faces,” says Jorma Mynttinen, Store Manager at Sale Hermann.

Starship robots have travelled millions of kilometres and made more than six million autonomous deliveries around the world. They cross 150 000 roads every day, which means more than three crossings every second.  

Starship was founded by Janus Friis (co-founder of Skype) and Ahti Heinla (chief architect of Skype), who is also the company’s CEO.

 Further information

On behalf of Starship, Harri Kammonen, Manifesto Communications, 040 500 1120, harri.kammonen@manifesto.fi

Heikki Vottonen, Director, SSO, tel. 044 3205 600 , heikki.vottonen@sok.fi

Starship Technologies is revolutionising transport services with autonomous robots. The robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally within minutes. The robots have travelled more than 13 million kilometres and made more than 6 million autonomous deliveries around the world. Starship was founded by Janus Friis (co-founder of Skype) and Ahti Heinla (chief architect of Skype), who is also the company’s CEO.