Robots heading to Wakefield as Starship Technologies and Co-op expand grocery delivery service across Yorkshire

24 May 2023: Robots are heading to Wakefield from today as Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, has partnered with Co-op and  Wakefield Council to bring the benefits of autonomous grocery delivery to residents.

The service will initially be available to 13,000 residents across 6,500+ households, with orders made through the Starship food delivery app, which is available for download on iOS and Android. Groceries will be picked fresh from the local Co-op store on Meadow Vale, Outwood, and delivered quickly and conveniently from store to door in minutes.

Anyone placing an order will also be able to enjoy a recently launched new feature from Starship, with three robot ‘characters’ available to customise the delivery experience. Wakefield residents can choose to receive their orders from Sir Lance-a-bot, Gizmo and Sunshine, with each greeting customers in their own unique way. Customers can also choose a song for their robot to play on arrival.

Today’s launch in Wakefield continues Starship’s recent expansion across Yorkshire and the north of England. The company’s robots are already a familiar and popular sight in several other locations across the UK including Leeds, Trafford, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford, Cambourne and Cambridge.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “We’re excited that this cutting-edge technology is coming to our district and helping our residents who might find it difficult to get out and about with an affordable and convenient way of doing their food shopping. The service is also environmentally-friendly – the robots are zero emission; people won’t need to drive to the shops in their cars, and it will help to reduce food waste as people can order a small shop with the exact ingredients they need.”

Andrew Curtis, UK Operations Manager at Starship Technologies, said: “We are delighted to officially launch our service in Wakefield today and provide local residents with the opportunity to have their groceries delivered by our fleet of battery powered robots. The robots have been widely welcomed everywhere they operate for the benefits they provide in terms of ease and convenience for people, while also having a positive environmental impact. We all want cleaner air to breathe, and our robots make short car journeys to the supermarket a thing of the past.”

Chris Conway, eCommerce Director, Co-op, said: “Co-op stores are well placed in the heart of local communities to provide quick, easy and convenient home deliveries – whether a full shop or last-minute top-ups. We are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to our products and services, and delighted to be able to roll-out our autonomous robot deliveries to provide additional online flexibility and choice in Wakefield.”

Starship Technologies recently celebrated five years of commercial service, and since launch the company’s robots have safely completed more than 4 million deliveries around the world, undertaking 140,000 road crossings every day. People use the service for its convenience and ease of use to fit shopping around their busy lives, including the nearly 25% of Starship’s customers who either have or live with someone that has an accessibility need.

Customers can choose from a wide range of grocery items, schedule their delivery, then drop a pin where they want it to be sent. They can watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map, and will receive an alert when it arrives, and can meet and unlock the robot’s lid through the app to retrieve their groceries.

With a delivery fee starting from just 99p, Starship’s robots are battery powered, lightweight and travel at the speed of a pedestrian. They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch.


About Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies is revolutionising deliveries with autonomous robots. The robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally in minutes. The delivery robots have travelled millions of miles and completed more than 4 million autonomous deliveries around the world. Starship was founded by Ahti Heinla (Skype chief architect) and Janus Friis (Skype co-founder) and Alastair Westgarth is the CEO.


Facebook: @StarshipTechnologies

Twitter: @StarshipRobots

Instagram: @starshiprobots



James Meredith, Danielle Hines & Hope Bradley

Liberty Communications

About Co-op

Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates over 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. Employing almost 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of over £11billion and is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.


Andrew Torr

Co-op Press office